Two decades ago, the global AIDS pandemic seemed unstoppable. More than 2.5 million people were acquiring HIV each year, and AIDS was claiming 2 million lives a year. In parts of southern Africa, AIDS was reversing decades of gains in life expectancy. Effective treatments had been developed but were available only at prohibitively expensive prices, limiting their use to a privileged few people. UNAIDS data show that today, 29.8 million of the 39 million [33.1 million–45.7 million] people living with HIV globally are receiving life-saving treatment.1 An additional 1.6 million people received HIV treatment in each of 2020, 2021 and 2022. If this annual increase can be maintained, the global target of 35 million people on HIV treatment by 2025 will be within reach (1). Access to antiretroviral therapy has expanded massively in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and the Pacific, which together are home to about 82% of all people living with HIV. The path to ending AIDS is clear. We have a solution if we follow the leadership of countries that have forged strong political commitment to put people first and invest in evidence-based HIV prevention and treatment programmes. The building blocks of a successful AIDS response come together through partnerships between countries, communities, donors including the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and the private sector.