In the mid-1990s, there were some 3.4 million new HIV infections each year. In 2017, there were only 1.8 million. The critics may argue that four decades is a long time to tackle HIV. That, however, is historically illiterate. Smallpox, polio, mumps, Guinea worm disease and malaria have been the scourge of humanity for millennia. Today they are all either eradicated or treatable. Forty years from an outbreak of a pandemic to treatment and, hopefully, eradication is but the blink of an eye.

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