Former US president Bill Clinton has told a world AIDS conference in Melbourne that an AIDS-free generation is within reach.
Mr Clinton addressed the audience about the future for the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS. He said every year another 2 million people are infected with HIV, including 20,000 children a month. But he said achievements made in the fight against AIDS should not be an excuse for people to rest on their laurels.
“The AIDS-free world that so many of you have worked to build is just over the horizon. We just need to step up the pace,” he said.
“We are on a steady march to rid the world of AIDS.” Mr Clinton said one of the biggest challenges the international community faces was the early detection of HIV. “New data from 51 countries suggests 70 per cent of HIV-related deaths could have been prevented.” he said. “The evidence continues to build that early treatment helps prevent further transmission.”
His speech was briefly interrupted by protesters calling for new financial taxes to support the fight against AIDS. “Give them a hand and ask them to let the rest of us talk,” Mr Clinton said as the protesters continued to interrupt his speech.
First Published on ABC.net.au
The technique addresses the problem of hidden reservoirs of HIV in the body, and could herald a new way of battling the viral infection
Once HIV invades the body, it doesn’t want to leave. Every strategy that scientists have developed or are developing so far to fight the virus – from powerful anti-HIV drugs to promising vaccines that target it – suffers from the same weakness. None can ferret out every last virus in the body, and HIV has a tendency to hide out, remaining inert for years, until it flares up again to cause disease.
None, that is, until now. Kamel Khalili, director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple University School of Medicine, and his colleagues took advantage of a new gene editing technique to splice the virus out of the cells they infected – essentially returning them to their pre-infection state. The strategy relies on detecting and binding HIV-related genetic material, and therefore represents the first anti-HIV platform that could find even the dormant virus sequestered in immune cells.
First Published on Time.com – July 21 2014
AFA expresses it’s deepest condolences and sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of all on board flight MH17. 100 AIDS Conference delegates heading to Melbourne lost their lives in this unfortunate tragedy. It is indescribably painful and regrettable for all of us. As we grief with the community, our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.
Among them were professor Joep Lange from the Netherlands, Lucie van Mens, and Martin de Schutter from AIDS Action Europe and Glenn Thomas from the World Health Organisation.
Lange, an expert in the field of medicinal AIDS therapy, founder of PharmAccess Foundation and Former International AIDS Society head has strongly advocated for patients in Africa to gain improved access to effective drugs.
“If we are able to deliver cold Coca Cola and beer to the most remotes regions in Africa, it shouldn’t be impossible to do the same with drugs.”
– Lange, 2002, AIDS summit in Barcelona.
Related News Reports
In the crowded plenary room, AIDS 2014 opened on 20 July 2014 in Melbourne, a ceremony that was bitter sweet and sombre mood in light of the MH17 tragedy. Hosted by Chinese journalist and UN Goodwill Ambassador James Chau, began with Lambert Grijns, Dutch ambassador for sexual health and HIV rights, paying respect to his fellow delegates who died on the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down in Ukraine on Friday.
The ceremony continued with speakers highlighting the need to step up the pace on the global fight against HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination, and to raise awareness and education on HIV prevention and treatment.
Ayu Oktariani from Indonesia led a procession of people living with HIV from South East Asia and the Pacific in traditional dress.She spoke of her personal experiences of being diagnosed with AIDS and the stigma and discrimination she faced.
“Many of us got HIV because we did not have the means to protect ourselves,” she said.
She went on to rally for people living with HIV and AIDS to get involved, highlighting that it cannot be just left to science.
“We need people living with HIV in the response,” she said.
Related Speeches from the opening Session
People at higher risk of HIV infection are not getting the health services they need, according to a new report by the World Health Organization entitled Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations.
Released on 11 July, the publication warns that failure to provide adequate
HIV services for key groups, such as men who have sex with men, people in prison, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people, threatens the global progress of the HIV response.
The consolidated guidelines outline the steps for countries to take to reduce new HIV infections and increase access to HIV testing, treatment and care services by populations at higher risk. The report aims to provide a comprehensive package of evidence-informed HIV-related recommendations for all populations, increase awareness of the needs of and issues important to key populations, improve access, coverage and uptake of effective and acceptable services, and catalyse greater national and global commitment to adequate funding and services.
“Failure to provide services to the people who are at greatest risk of HIV jeopardizes further progress against the global epidemic and threatens the health and well-being of individuals, their families and the broader community.”
Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of the HIV Department at the World Health Organization
First published – July 11 2014
This declaration affirms that non-discrimination is fundamental to an evidence-based response to HIV and effective public health programmes.
“The enforcement of discriminatory and criminalising laws and policies against Key Affected Populations is deeply alarming.” said Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, AIDS 2014 International Chair, President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. “Such practices clearly violate basic human rights and heavily undermine HIV programmes by posing barriers to access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care. With the declaration we want to reiterate that every individual has the same rights and dignity as everyone else as we are born equal and part of the human family. ”
All individuals and organizations involved in the global response to HIV and AIDS are encouraged to visit and sign the declaration at www.aids2014.org/declaration.aspx and to share it with their networks.
“If we really want to change the course of HIV we must make sure that nobody is left behind. AIDS 2014 will be a truly global, inclusive conference and will reflect the principles of the declaration” commented Professor Sharon Lewin, Local Co-Chair of AIDS 2014, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University and Co-Head of the Centre for Biomedical Research at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne.
First Published on HIV Plus Mag, By Dr. Gerald Schochetman, June 27 2014
National HIV Testing Day reminds us that every nine and a half minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV, which is why we need to empower ourselves with the latest tools at our disposal.
It has been more than 30 years since HIV was first identified, and we have changed the course of this deadly disease. Breakthroughs in treatment in the mid-1990s have led to longer and healthier lives for people living with HIV and have resulted in dramatic declines in HIV-related deaths. HIV prevention has also saved countless lives—including an estimated 350,000 in the United States alone.
So why are many public health experts calling for an update to current HIV testing guidelines, that at least in part, depend on 25-year-old testing technology?
The gay and MSM community is experiencing increasing numbers diagnosed with HIV infection every year. Many of the MSM who are diagnosed are young (29 years and below).
We would like to take this opportunity to invite our community stakeholders to come together, as a community, for a meeting to discuss the issue of HIV and MSM in Singapore and to hopefully come up with new & better ideas to stop the spread of the infection and to assist those with HIV./AIDS amongst us.
This event will be held just before Pink Dot and will be a timely call for action to keep all members of our community in good health.
- Provide updates on HIV and STI prevention , treatment and care
- Be a platform for brainstorming and sharing of resources
- Build new and strengthen existing partnerships and networks
Who Should Attend
- Community leaders and partners who have a stake and interest in HIV prevention and support for MSM
- Concerned individuals who are willing to contribute actively and constructively to the discussion
- Interested organisations should nominate key personnel to attend
- Venue : Park Royal at Pickering (Conference Room 1 Lvl 2 )
- Date: 28 June 2014
- Time: 12:30 Registration
|Welcome||Prof. Roy Chan|
|HIV/STIs Epidemiology and Statistic|
|HIV||Prof. Roy Chan (AFA)|
|STIs||Dr. Gavin Ong (NSC)|
|Clinical Services for MSM for HIV/STI|
|HIV||A/Prof. Lee Cheng Chuan (CDC)|
|STIs||Dr. Martin Chio (NSC)|
|Support Services for MSM and HIV|
|Coordinated Care||Anwar Hashim (AFA)|
|PLC/MSM Support Group||Paul Toh|
|Newly Diagnosed Priority Programme||Avin Tan (AFA)|
|Intervention and Education Programmes|
|Counselling||Bryan Choong (Oogachaga)|
|Youth Social Support||Hafiz Muhd (SG Rainbow)|
|Varify – Testing buddy||Nathan Renga (Purple Alliance)|
|Daniel Le/Avin Tan (AFA)|