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AIDS 2012 Ignites Momentum for the Beginning of the End of the AIDS Epidemic

Scientific, Political and Community Leaders Call for Collaborative Partnerships and Investments in Research, Treatment and Prevention to Turn the Tide on HIV

Friday, 27 July 2012 (Washington, D.C., United States)- The global AIDS community concluded its biennial meeting today with a clear sense that the end of the AIDS epidemic is possible with sustained financial, political and scientific commitment. As delegates and organizers depart Washington, D.C., where the conference opened 22 July under the theme Turning the Tide Together, they understand that though a vaccine or cure is still necessary, scaling up resources and the tools available today has the potential to save millions of lives. Only with coordinated efforts to expand HIV prevention and treatment initiatives, integrate HIV programs into broader health services, maintain funding, and improve human rights across vulnerable populations will the international community begin to end the AIDS epidemic

"AIDS 2012 has brought delegates together from around the world to Washington, D.C. - with one aim in mind - to turn the tide on the HIV epidemic. We have seen breaking science, exciting strategizing for a cure, sessions for the young and old affected by HIV, to name just a few. The success of the Global Village and the Youth Programme has galvanized the efforts of the activists and young scientists who will be the future of our fight to end AIDS," said Dr. Elly Katabira, AIDS 2012 International Chair, President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and Professor of Medicine at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. "As International Chair, I would like to commend everyone for their tireless efforts to make AIDS 2012 a truly great conference, and I urge delegates to maintain the momentum."

AIDS 2012 drew nearly 24,000 participants from 183 countries. The week-long programme featured 194 sessions covering science, community and leadership. The conference was supported by almost 1,000 volunteers from all over the United States and other countries.

"AIDS 2012 represented many milestones in the history of the International AIDS Conference, but most importantly, it is the first time we have been united around the one goal to end AIDS," said Dr. Diane Havlir, AIDS 2012 U.S. Co-Chair and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. "Serious dialogue is now happening about collaboration among the diverse communities involved in this effort - science, advocacy, faith, and vulnerable populations. In the face of all of this optimism, I am humbled by the job ahead of us, but this meeting has inspired me. I know we will keep moving toward our shared goal of ending AIDS."

Thousands of delegates signed the Washington, D.C. Declaration, the official declaration of the XIX International AIDS Conference. The declaration states that we must strive for multidisciplinary approaches that respect and uphold the human rights and dignity of all people affected by the epidemic and calls for nine concrete actions. Sign the declaration online at www.dcdeclaration.org or www.2endaids.org

At the Closing Session, U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "The International AIDS Conference is focused on solutions, care, and a cure, bringing together experts, policy makers, and people living with HIV around a single goal: ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic once and for all. HIV/AIDS is a challenge that knows no borders, and the United States must continue to invest in treatments and prevention at home, while working to restore a future of hope and health to communities around the world." The session also featured a keynote address by President William J. Clinton.

Incoming IAS President and AIDS 2014 International Conference Chair Prof. Françoise Barré- Sinoussi gave an inaugural address. Barré-Sinoussi, a Nobel Laureate, is Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institute Pasteur in Paris.

At the conclusion of the Closing Session, Katabira, Havlir and Barré-Sinoussi officially transferred the International AIDS Conference globe from Washington, D.C., to Melbourne, Australia, which will host the XX International AIDS Conference in July 2014. Accepting the globe for Melbourne were AIDS 2014 Australia Chair Sharon Lewin, Professor of Medicine at Monash University, and representatives of the AIDS 2014 local partners.

Victoria's Health Minister, David Davis, said the Australian health policy response to HIV involves a high degree of partnership between government, scientists and civil society sharing a commitment to care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS and ending the HIV epidemic. "As the hosts of AIDS 2014, Australia will lead collaborative, global dialogue on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, sharing the benefits of such partnerships with other countries."

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Friday Plenary Session
HIV in the Larger Global Health Context

Speakers:

Anthony Harries, Senior Advisor, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, France, TB and HIV: Science and Implementation to Turn the Tide on TB

The unacceptably high burden of death due to HIV-associated tuberculosis can be significantly reduced by early use of antiretroviral therapy, isoniazid preventive therapy, use of new TB diagnostic tools and co-location and integration of HIV and TB services. "Through the application of new science and the strategic use of new diagnostic tools, we can greatly reduce the burden of disease and premature death from HIV-associated tuberculosis."

Judith Currier, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, United States, Intersection of Non-Communicable Diseases and Ageing in HIV

The life expectancy of people with treated HIV infection has improved significantly with the availability of potent antiretroviral therapy, but in many cases not to normal levels due in part due to the development of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Currier will highlight the interactions and challenges the twin epidemics of HIV and NCD present for clinical management and the delivery of care. "We need to understand the factors that contribute to the development of NCD in people ageing with treated HIV infection so that we can develop interventions to prevent the morbidity of these conditions in the years ahead."

Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director General, Strategic Health Programmes, National Department of Health, South Africa, Optimization, Effectiveness and Efficiency of Service Delivery: Integration of HIV and Health Services

Some countries' HIV programmes have probably reached optimal efficiencies with respect to the supply side (human resource costs, drug costs and laboratory costs for example). The need to also focus on optimal patient outcomes is equally important. While many countries in sub- Saharan Africa have made significant strides to deal with the HIV epidemic, any reduction in effort and resources will negatively impact on the gains made

ENDS

AIDS 2012 Live webcast: www.kff.org/aids2012

Conference Organization

AIDS 2012 is convened by the International AIDS Society and the conference's international 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 United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC); and Sidaction.

The U.S.-based Black AIDS Institute; the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH); the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA); the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP); and the U.S. Positive Women's Network (USPWN) serve as local partners.

AIDS 2012: Join the conversation

Get the latest conference updates and share your thoughts and ideas through the Conference Facebook and Twitter. We are tweeting - @aids2012 - and hope many of you will tweet along with us, using #AIDS2012 to keep the conversation going. Become a fan of AIDS 2012 on Facebook and stay in touch with the latest conference updates and developments. Please visit www.facebook.com/aids2012 to become a fan. If your group or organization is participating in AIDS 2012, we welcome posts of photos and videos of your work on this page. Tell us why you are coming to Washington and what you hope to gain from AIDS 2012.

About the IAS

The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 16,000 members from more than 196 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. Our 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 the 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 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 30 June- 3 July 2013. www.iasociety.org | www.ias2011.org

For more information:
Onsite Media centre: +1 202 249 4032

Francesca Da Ros (Geneva, Switzerland)
AIDS 2012 Communications and Media Officer
Email Francesca.Daros@iasociety.org
Tel: +41 22 710 0822
Mob: +41 (0)796 109 679
US Mob (July 16-28): +1 202 997 6917

Michael Kessler
AIDS 2012 International Media Coordinator
Email: michael.kessler@aids2012.org
Mob: +1 (202) 430 2160 Skype: mickgpi

Shawn Jain (Washington, D.C., U.S.)
AIDS 2012 U.S. Media Relations Coordinator
Email shawn.jain@aids2012.org
Tel: +1 (202) 470 3127
Mob: +1 (202) 714-0535


"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"

International AIDS Society
www.iasociety.org


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