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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.

Click to Read Full Press Release

Consolidated guidelines (UNAIDS 2014)

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