In this personal article, the author reflects on the necessity to address HIV in all development programs and recognize the gender and other systemic inequalities on which it thrives. Looking at issues from access to treatment under the WHO 3x5 initiative to the plagiarism of ideas and practices from community based projects by international NGOs, the article provides insight about the challenges ahead for combating the HIV epidemic. The author concludes by suggesting ways that readers of PLA Notes could take action, such as by familiarizing themselves with routes of infection and considering the realistic implications for themselves, friends and family. The author argues that unless we remove the morality debate from the issue of HIV, and recognize that it is poverty, global power imbalances, and gender issues which fuel the pandemic, HIV will continue to thrive and people will continue to die. The author also suggests that readers promote solidarity with HIV positive people within their own communities and join advocacy networks to lobby for free and equitable access to antiretroviral drugs. In conclusion the author suggests that if we all work together, we can make a difference.