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A Pivotal Moment in the Global Response to HIV

Posted 18 July 2010, 09:07 A, by Julio Montaner, AIDS 2010 Conference Chair

[Originally posted 14 June 2010]

AIDS 2010 will take place at a pivotal time in the HIV epidemic. This is the target year that the leaders of the Group of 8 (G8) -- and eventually all UN member states -- set for achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Since the universal access target was set five years ago, we have made significant strides:

  • By December 2008, over four million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, one million more than in the previous year.
  • Almost half of all pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries received antiretrovirals to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
  • More people were counseled and tested for HIV in 2008 than in previous years.
  • More children living with HIV are benefiting from treatment and care programmes.

 

Kicosehp NGO, Kibera Community Self Help programme, Kenya. Credit: UNAIDS/G. Pirozzi.

Though we still have far to go, this progress is tangible evidence of the feasibility of scaling up HIV programmes, even in the poorest areas. More...

Montaner: Why I Support the Vienna Declaration

Posted 17 July 2010, 04:52 A, by Julio Montaner, AIDS 2010 Conference Chair
By Julio Montaner, MD, AIDS 2010 Chair, Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and President, International AIDS Society

I support the Vienna Declaration because we, as a global society, are at a critical juncture with respect to our efforts to control the spread of HIV among injection drug users, and we must not let it pass us by. 

Thanks to a critical mass of scientific evidence we know with certainty we can halt the spread of HIV in this population simply through providing HIV treatment, clean needles and evidence-based addiction treatments like opioid substitution therapy, supervised injection sites and medicalized heroin. 

(c) International AIDS Society/Simon Deinir/SDR Photo

Remarkably, there is also a critical mass of scientific evidence regarding the unintended negative consequences of policies based exclusively on drug law enforcement.  We have to recognize that the war on drugs has not only failed to reduce illicit drug supply and use, but it has also resulted in a range of human rights violations, drug market violence and HIV and HCV epidemics among users. More...

A Pivotal Moment in the Global Response to HIV

Posted 14 June 2010, 10:54 P, by Julio Montaner, AIDS 2010 Conference Chair

AIDS 2010 will take place at a pivotal time in the HIV epidemic. This is the target year that the leaders of the Group of 8 (G8) -- and eventually all UN member states -- set for achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Since the universal access target was set five years ago, we have made significant strides:

  • By December 2008, over four million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, one million more than in the previous year.
  • Almost half of all pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries received antiretrovirals to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
  • More people were counseled and tested for HIV in 2008 than in previous years.
  • More children living with HIV are benefiting from treatment and care programmes.

 

Kicosehp NGO, Kibera Community Self Help programme, Kenya. Credit: UNAIDS/G. Pirozzi.

 

Though we still have far to go, this progress is tangible evidence of the feasibility of scaling up HIV programmes, even in the poorest areas. More...