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Rapporteur Summaries

Posted 23 July 2010, 11:14 A, by Conference Secretariat

The AIDS 2010 rapporteurs held their Summary Session immediately before the Closing Session on Friday. All week long, rapporteurs have been “scurrying around” collecting and synthesizing presentations, according to session Chair Alan Whiteside, Director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. The rapporteurs - experienced scientists, clinicians, researchers and advocates from around the world - summarised many of the presentations made during the week, focusing on critical issues addressed, important results presented and key recommendations put forward. The rapporteur reports will be available here and in the Programme-at-a-Glance. More...

Seshu: The Reality of a “Rights-based Approach”: SANGRAM

Posted 22 July 2010, 05:17 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Meena Saraswathi Seshu, General Secretary of Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha. Seshu delivered the Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture at AIDS 2010.

The phrase “rights-based approach” flows easily into the speaking points and materials of many organizations and even governments when they talk about meeting the challenge of HIV.  This is a good thing if the phrase really means something.  But I am concerned that “rights-based approach” loses its meaning when people think that it’s a matter of just inviting affected people to a meeting, or speaking kindly of them, or even just dropping the phrase “rights-based” into a mission statement.

Kothis and transgender sex workers of SANGRAM in west India.

In my plenary speech, I will recount the story of our work in SANGRAM as an example of confronting HIV with human rights as a real – and not just rhetorical – everyday guide to action.  There was nothing easy about our effort to make human rights more than an abstract framework, but achieving this goal is feasible.  I know that we have learnt lessons that can benefit HIV work in many settings and cultures.

The journey of our struggle is too rich to describe in this short blog, but let me try to highlight a few key elements. More...

Children Need Family Support First

Posted 21 July 2010, 12:20 P, by Conference Secretariat

by John Miller, Projects Coordinator, Coalition on Children Affected by AIDS

For the third time since AIDS 2006, the Coalition on Children Affected by AIDS and The Teresa Group co-hosted a symposium on children affected by HIV/AIDS. Titled “Children and HIV: Family Support First,” the symposium provided an important and targeted opportunity to probe topics and issues focused on improving how best to support families and younger children in the battle against HIV/AIDS.  The symposium drew 440 attendees from 67 countries.
 
As Graca Machel told symposium attendees via video: “When one child dies needlessly from HIV/AIDS, it creates a tragic ripple that will harm our world for generations to come.” She urged attendees to join the growing Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA). 

Elizabeth Mwenya of the Zambian Network of People Living With HIV and AIDS speaks at the the conference.

The symposium’s theme was family-centred prevention, treatment and care for children, with a strong emphasis on eliminating pediatric AIDS and reducing maternal mortality while expanding and connecting services related to the care and support of children.  Nearly one in five maternal deaths can be linked to HIV. More...

Photos: Human Rights March

Posted 21 July 2010, 09:31 A, by Conference Secretariat

HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: Now More Than Ever! was the rallying cry shouted by thousands of people who gathered last night in the center of Vienna to march for human rights.  Here are some scenes from the march and performances.  For more photos, click here.

 
 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

 
 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

 
 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

 
 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

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Global Leaders Call for End to Homophobia and Human Rights Abuses

Posted 21 July 2010, 05:28 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Jack Beck, MSMGF Communications Associate

In response to skyrocketing HIV prevalence rates among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) around the world, global health leaders have called for an end to the human rights abuses against MSM that contribute to HIV vulnerability.  The call came on Saturday at BE HEARD, an all-day pre-conference event hosted by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) to address soaring global rates of HIV among MSM. 
 
The event showcased presentations from more than 100 of the world’s top experts on the health and human rights of sexual minorities. With over 500 attendees from more than 80 countries, the event was the largest gathering of its kind. 

 
Othman Mellouk, MSMGF Co-Chair and President of Morocco's Association de Lutte Contre le Sida Maroc, and Dr. Robert Carr, MSMGF Co-Chair and Associate Director of Policy & Advocacy at the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations

The opening plenary featured the unveiling of a groundbreaking Johns Hopkins/World Bank global survey of HIV epidemics among MSM in the year 2010.  The study indicated HIV prevalence rates as high as 21.4% in Malawi, 13.8% in Peru and 23% in Thailand.  The data reveals the current state of the HIV epidemic among MSM to be characterized by ongoing epidemics in low- and middle-income countries, resurgent epidemics in high-income countries, and the discovery of new epidemics in areas that previously had no data. More...

Lancet Special Series Features Vienna Declaration Article

Posted 20 July 2010, 04:19 P, by Conference Secretariat

The Lancet released a special series on HIV in people who use drugs, including a commentary on the Vienna Declaration, the official declaration of the XVIII International AIDS Conference. The Vienna Declaration seeks to improve community health and safety by calling for the inclusion of science-based evidence in illicit drug policies in order to reduce drug-related harms, including HIV, among people who use drugs.

Other articles in the series cover issues surrounding antiretroviral therapy, opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programmes, as well as social issues, such as human rights, decriminalization, stigmatisation and imprisonment of people who use drugs.

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Bill Gates - Building on Success: A Roadmap for HIV Prevention

Posted 19 July 2010, 10:21 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [Cross-posted from the Gates Foundation Blog]

I’m honored to speak at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna today. This conference marks an important turning point in the fight against AIDS.

There are good reasons to be hopeful – we have seen amazing progress. The number of people getting treatment for AIDS has increased twelve-fold since 2003. The people at this conference and major partners such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and PEPFAR have helped make this possible.

 
 Credit: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

At the same time, we have to recognize that these are tough times for those of us who are passionate about fighting HIV. Economic turbulence has driven up government deficits, and some countries have responded by reducing their investments in global health. These are the challenges we all face, but they don’t have to define our time. More...

HIV Prevention and Treatment in Austria: Lessons Learned

Posted 13 July 2010, 12:44 P, by Conference Secretariat

By Alois Stöger, Minister of Health, Austria

In Austria, the first HIV/AIDS cases were diagnosed in 1983.

In 1983 only very restricted information was available on:

  • the real nature of HIV/AIDS
  • perspectives considering the development of vaccines
  • perspectives considering the development of treatment
  • no hope for treatment HIV/AIDS was an untreatable, incurable, deadly disease.

 

The only possible response was:

  • information and consolidation of the available knowledge concerning:
    *possible modes of transmission
    *public health action with a potential to decrease risk
    *activities to decrease individual risk with a focus on behavioural change
    *measures to avoid discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS
  • public health measures to enable vulnerable groups to protect themselves
  • public health measures to cut nosocomial infections, transmission by blood transfusions and blood products. More...

ICASO: Responding to AIDS Saves Lives – Scale Up Now

Posted 12 July 2010, 02:01 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Kieran Daly, Executive Director, International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), an AIDS 2010 Organizing Partner

The XVIII International AIDS Conference takes place at a critical time. 2010. The target year by which the world was to have achieved universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

As a long-standing member of the Conference Coordinating Committee, the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) believes that AIDS 2010 is a key opportunity to hold world leaders accountable and push them to make a difference in turning the tide on the AIDS pandemic.

 

We know that investing in AIDS responses is a good example of how the world can effectively respond to health challenges and have real impact. An example of this is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which alone has financed programmes that will save an estimated five million – including putting 2.5 million people on HIV treatment by 2009. More...

Rights Here, Right Now: CVC Coalition and AIDS 2010

Posted 22 June 2010, 12:57 P, by Conference Secretariat
By Vidyaratha Kissoon, CVC Media Volunteer, AIDS 2010. CVC is an AIDS 2010 Organizing Partner.

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) endorses the theme Rights Here, Right Now for AIDS 2010.

CVC is a coalition of community leaders and non-governmental agencies providing services directly to and on behalf of Caribbean populations who are especially vulnerable to HIV infection or often forgotten in access to treatment and healthcare programmes. These groups include:

  • men who have sex with men
  • sex workers
  • people who use drugs
  • orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV
  • migrant populations
  • ex-prisoners
  • youth in especially difficult circumstances.
Youth in Toco, Trinidad. Credit: UNAIDS/B. Press.

The membership is drawn from the Caribbean and includes people and organizations who work in Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Curaçao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, the French Caribbean, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia,  St. Vincent, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. More...