FAST-TRACKING THE GLOBAL HIV REPONSE - DAY 5 AT AIDS 2014
SIR BOB GELDOF SAYS THE 'LAST MILE' OF THE HIV EPIDEMIC MUST BE FUNDED
Thursday July 24, 2014 - Sir Bob Geldof has told delegates at AIDS 2014, the 20th International AIDS Conference, that the
"preposterous reluctance" of governments to fund HIV programs in developing countries is "disgraceful", especially as the journey to
the end of the HIV epidemic is "in the last mile".
The renowned anti-poverty campaigner made the comments at the conference in Melbourne today as he reflected on the
impact of HIV on developing nations.
Geldof said that the HIV epidemic in low income countries is "inextricably linked" to poverty, and he strongly criticized
wealthy nations for reneging on foreign aid commitments.
The theme of the conference today (Thursday 24 July) was 'making the long term short term', and today's activities began
with plenary presentations about fast-tracking the global HIV response. Issues discussed included accelerating the development of an
HIV vaccine (Antonio Lanzavecchia of Switzerland), advancing the development of HIV prevention technologies (Kenneth Mayer of
the US), and improving research about and engagement with transgender people and men who have sex with men
(Beatriz Grinsztejn of Brasil, and Laurindo Garcia of the Philippines).
The escalating HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia was explored in a special session featuring representatives
from Russia, Lithuania and Moldova. The panel considered the regions intersecting epidemics of HIV, injecting drug use, hepatitis C
and tuberculosis, as well as solutions to issues such as poor access to treatment and the marginalisation and criminalisation of
men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.
Also this morning was a symposium on the worrying trends of HIV transmission and co-infection in prisons, where HIV
prevalence is up to 50 times higher than the general population. Other sessions included a discussion of how cultural and
political environments are impacting on the health outcomes of indigenous populations throughout the world, and
strategies for making workplaces more inclusive and supportive of people with HIV.
This afternoon featured a special session on how affected communities can work with pharmaceutical companies to ensure
that new antiretroviral treatments are made more affordable and more available. Other sessions this afternoon explored a range of
subjects such as: the challenges of being transgender in Asia and the Pacific; cultural sensitivity training for sexual health
workers in Islamic countries; and how sacred texts can be used to talk effectively about sexuality and diversity.
The Global Village, the conference's international showcase of community related HIV programmes and activities,
welcomed Geldof to the village, and showed him around the wide range of events including theatrical and dance performances,
fashion shows, film screenings and music recitals, as well as discussions on a variety of issues including, discrimination
experienced by people with HIV and AIDS in Pakistan; the networking strategies of transgender sex workers in the
Caribbean; and how young female HIV activists are making a difference in places such as China, Kenya and Uganda.
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
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).
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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
Tel: Tel: +61499104186
Local Communications Coordinator, AIDS 2014
AIDS 2014 International Media Relations Consultant
Tel: +61 447 047 150
Francesca Da Ros
Senior Coordinator, Communications and Media, IAS & AIDS 2014
Tel: +41 22 710 0822
Photo gallery for day 4 can be found at: http://aids2014.smugmug.com/Thursday-24-July-2014
Photo on following page: Sir Bob Geldof with Local Co-chair of AIDS 2014, Sharon Lewin - promoting the AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration - Nobody Left Behind.
"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"
International AIDS Society
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