HIV Cure, HIV Co-Infection and HIV Laws Feature on Day 2 of AIDS 2014

Prof. Barré-Sinoussi went on to say: “The tremendous scale up of HIV programmes has begun to reverse the spread of HIV. According to the new UNAIDS report released a few days ago, nearly 14 million people living with HIV in low and middle-income countries are now being treated. Millions of lives are saved. But this is far from being enough and we still have plenty to do. Let’s show the world that neither brutality nor hatred can stop us. Let’s join our forces to build a better future for all.”

In welcoming the gathering to host-country Australia, the local Co-chair of AIDS 2014, Prof. Sharon Lewin, said: ‘I am delighted that this week we will hear about some truly ground- breaking advances in new treatments of hepatitis C and tuberculosis, two of the most significant co-infections in people living with HIV. As a scientist, I remain passionate that the search for a vaccine and cure must continue. I sincerely hope that what you learn and see in Melbourne rapidly translates to action, action that contributes to our collaborative and escalating efforts to see the end of HIV.”

At a press conference this morning, Prof. Lewin said the focus of efforts for an HIV cure was currently on developing treatments leading to remission. She said the latest research and findings were significant in that ”they have shown us that we can wake up the virus reservoir and make enough of the virus to leave the cell, making it visible to an immune response.”

Today’s conference activities (Monday 21 July) began with plenary presentations about the latest advances for an HIV cure (Jintanat Ananworanich of Thailand), latest trends in HIV epidemiology (Salim Abdool Karim of South Africa), and how people with HIV are participating in the contemporary global response to HIV (Lydia Mungherera of Uganda).

Also this morning were two key symposiums: one addressing hepatitis co-infection among people living with HIV; and another looking at the barriers to effective HIV prevention created by the discrimination against key affected populations and criminalisation of HIV transmission, exposure and non-disclosure in some parts of the world.

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