HIV CURE, HIV COINFECTION AND HIV LAWS FEATURE ON DAY 2 OF AIDS 2014
July 21, Melbourne, Australia - AIDS 2014, the 20th International AIDS Conference, officially began last night (Sunday 20 July) in Melbourne, Australia, with moving tributes to the six delegates who lost their lives aboard flight MH17.
Representatives of the organisations that lost colleagues - the World Health Organisation, AIDS Fonds, Stop AIDS Now, The Female Health Company, and the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development - joined eleven former, present and future presidents of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and members of the Dutch HIV community on the main stage in front of more than 5,000 delegates from around the world for a moment of remembrance.
"I strongly believe that all of us being here for the next week to discuss, to debate and to learn is indeed what our colleagues who are no longer with us would have wanted," Prof. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, International Conference Chair of AIDS 2014 and President of the International AIDS Society told the gathering. "We will remember their legacy and forever keep them in our hearts."
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.
A joint press conference on the role police are playing in HIV prevention was held by senior representatives of police and law enforcement agencies from Seattle Police Department, Vietnam, Ghana and the UN to speak to the launch of a new report by the Open Society Foundation.
Today also featured the opening ceremony for the AIDS 2014 Global Village, an international showcase of community related HIV programmes and activities. Speakers included Michael Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS, and Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
This afternoon will feature several special sessions including symposiums on viral latency and reservoirs, tuberculosis co-infection among people living with HIV, the future of science in the global HIV response and galvanizing a movement for ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Other activities will include a special session chaired by UNDP Administrator and former New Zealand PM Helen Clark on human rights and HIV law reform.
AIDS 2014 Conference Organization
AIDS 2014 is convened by the IAS and permanent partners the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+); the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO); the International Community of Women with HIV/AIDS (ICW), and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
Non-permanent partners are the Positive Women's Network and Sidaction.
The Australian based partners are: the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM); and the National Association of people with HIV Australia (NAPWHA).
The Asia Pacific Partners are: The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW); the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP); and the National AIDS Research of India (NARI).
AIDS 2014 on Social Media
Twitter: @AIDS_conference #AIDS2014
LinkedIn: International AIDS Conference
About the IAS
The International AIDS Society (IAS) iThe International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 16,000 members from more than 177 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. The IAS members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners.
The IAS is custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 19-22 July 2015.
www.iasociety.org | www.ias2013.org | www.aids2014.org
Onsite Media Centre: +61 0392358804/+61 0392358806
Senior Manager, Communications, IAS & AIDS 2014
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Local Communications Coordinator, AIDS 2014
AIDS 2014 International Media Relations Consultant
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Francesca Da Ros
Senior Coordinator, Communications and Media, IAS & AIDS 2014
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International AIDS Society
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20 th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014)
20 - 25 July 2014, Melbourne, Australia | www.aids2014.org
8 th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015)
19 - 22 July 2015, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | www.ias2015.org
Source: International AIDS Society
"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"
International AIDS Society
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