Response to HIV / AIDS epidemic in resource-constrained countries is still woefully disappointing. This paper highlights some priorities shared at recent Florence World Conference (Florence, Italy: January 21st-24th, 2004) on how to overcome the obstacles still delaying sustainable fight against HIV / AIDS in developing world areas. Messages reported here result from selection made by the authors among challenging topics by more than one hundred speakers and have been chosen because of their value as most practical ways to secure prevention, treatment and care and achieve self-managing in fighting epidemic in income-limited settings. Building for success means to set up combined strategies - actively involving people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA) and grounded on coordination, coalition and partnership among all players - to prevent HIV transmission at mother-to-child, young and adult levels and to improve availability and access to laboratory testing and monitoring as well as to essential drugs for HIV / AIDS and related diseases. Building for success also means to provide women with reliable and affordable vaginal microbicides and to look for control of coinfections such as viral hepatitis, intestinal and sexually transmitted diseases as well as tuberculosis and malaria. Among the measures taken into account, the need for education and training is emphasised because its value may be even more important than funding in some countries. Priorities suggested in this paper reinforce each other underscoring the bidirectional value and synergy of the treatment and prevention strategies together with the need for keeping prevention in people giving successful antiretroviral treatment. In the Authors opinion, the current HIV / AIDS scenario may be reversed if the priorities taken into account will entirely be applied through adaptation to the different cultural backgrounds and social settings, and based on achievement of governments political will and accountability as well as on properly coordinated technical, financial and human support from international health cooperation.