International AIDS Society International AIDS Society Blog | International AIDS Society Blog | International AIDS Society

How ICASA 2011 and AIDS 2012 can signpost the way to zero new HIV infections

Posted 28 November 2011, 02:03 P, by Elly Katabira, IAS President

From the early days of the HIV epidemic, the unique nature of the International AIDS Conference and its power to mobilize governments, scientists and the international media, while bringing hope and support to people living with HIV, has played a crucial role in shaping the course of HIV and AIDS.

Looking back, the International AIDS Conferences are signposts in the history of the epidemic, showing us not only where we went, but where we should have gone. Since the very first International AIDS Conference in Atlanta in 1985, when the scientists and public health officials grappling with how to respond to the emerging HIV epidemic gathered together to present an overview of knowledge about the disease, the conference has provided the platform needed to effectively respond to the pressing scientific, economic, social and political contexts of the day. More...

HIV professionals working on the frontlines of the epidemic are the key to improving aid effectiveness and efficiency

Posted 29 April 2011, 12:20 P, by Elly Katabira, IAS President

April 29, 2011- To mark International Workers' Day 2011, the International AIDS Society (IAS) is calling on the global AIDS community to recognize the potential of the organization’s 16, 000 plus members, over a third of whom work as health care and social services providers on the frontlines of the HIV epidemic, to be included and consulted in the current efforts to improve aid effectiveness and efficiency in the HIV sector.  

 

During the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) held in Vienna in July 2010, we saw the emergence of two key messages.  As high level speakers emphasized that current economic challenges and a flat-lining of resources are threatening progress made in the global response to HIV, the first message was plain and simple: more money is needed if we are to sustain and scale up the international response to the HIV epidemic. More...

Benefits of Using Antiretroviral Treatment as an Effective Prevention Tool Must Not Be Overlooked

Posted 17 January 2011, 06:27 A, by Elly Katabira, IAS President

Since the initial presentations on and consequent controversies surrounding the subject, I have been an avid supporter of the principles behind the ground-breaking concept of ‘Treatment as Prevention.’

The premise of ‘Treatment as Prevention’ is as follows: people living with HIV who adhere to an antiretroviral therapy regimen almost always achieve undetectable viral loads – the amount of virus in a body fluid such as blood, semen or vaginal secretions – at certain stages of their treatment. When the viral load is undetectable, the risk of HIV transmission is significantly reduced. 

With this in mind, achieving universal access to anti-retroviral drugs becomes doubly important, as treating all those in need, and earlier, not only saves individual lives but actually lowers the collective viral load of communities, significantly reducing rates of HIV transmission. More...

Global Fund Shortfall Threatens Universal Access

Posted 12 October 2010, 06:35 A, by Elly Katabira, IAS President

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve witnessed two key events that will shape global health and the HIV response over the next five years. I’ve closely followed the recent developments and outcomes at the MDG Summit and the 3rd Voluntary Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. For those of us working in the field of HIV the importance of the Global Fund Replenishment could not be overstated. I waited for the outcome of the replenishment meeting with cautious optimism.  After almost a decade of increased financial support for the Global HIV/AIDS response, this past year has been marked by funding flat lining. Donor countries have blamed the economic crisis for reductions in development aid, however there are growing concerns that the tide has turned away from AIDS funding and that political will in taking the HIV/AIDS response to the next level has waned.  The disappointing outcome of the Global Fund Replenishment Meeting reinforces my concerns. More...