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AIDS 2014 : OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – DAY 2

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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AIDS 2014 : OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE – DAY 1

Tributes paid to lost colleagues aboard flight MH 17 at the Opening Session of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia

World leaders, researches, activists and policymakers applaud global progress in the HIV response and urged to address stigma and discrimination

Some 12,000 participants from all over the world have gathered in Melbourne for the start of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014). Under the theme Stepping up the Pace, during the five days of the conference delegates will discuss the latest research developments and will hear about the status of the epidemic from world renowned experts. The conference runs through until Friday, 25 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

AIDS 2014 will offer delegates a strong scientific programme with presentations around hot topics including HIV cure strategies and challenges; HIV prevention via Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Treatment as Prevention (TasP), and voluntary medical male circumcision; Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C co-infection; and HIV and hormonal contraception. In addition, several studies will discuss the impact of discriminatory laws and the costs related to HIV prevention and care.

At the AIDS 2014 Opening Sessions, speakers discussed the encouraging data related to access treatment and reducing new HIV infections, but reminded the audience that HIV is far from being defeated and that stigma and discrimination towards Key Affected Population pose a major barrier to the end of the epidemic.

“The tremendous scale-up of HIV programmes has, for so many people transformed HIV from a death sentence into a chronically manageable disease,” 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 told delegates attending the opening session on Sunday night.

“One-third of people living with HIV, who need treatment now have access to it.

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