AIDS 2016 Daily Review

Pre-conferences kick off the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)

AIDS 2016 was off and running this weekend with a schedule of pre-conference activities that played to capacity crowds in advance of the official conference opening today, on Monday, 18 July. Leaders representing the full spectrum of the global AIDS response, from faith communities to sex workers to paediatric advocates, participated in sessions on the cost of stigma, the fight against HIV criminalization, new treatment approaches, and a host of other topics addressing nearly every aspect of the global epidemic.

LIVING 2016, the 3rd Positive Leadership Summit, brought together people living with HIV (PLWHIV) from around the world to advocate for human rights and access to care and to reject HIV criminalization and stigma. No More Lip Service, Trans Access, Equity and Rights, Now!, the first ever trans pre-conference at an International AIDS Conference, addressed the most pressing issues for transgender people at risk for or living with HIV.
Other pre-conference highlights included the fifth annual Towards an HIV Cure Symposium, which featured the latest in HIV cure research and a keynote address from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci. Highlighted at the Symposium: the new International AIDS Society (IAS) Global Scientific Strategy: Towards an HIV Cure 2016, published this week in the journal Nature Medicine. This all-new cure strategy builds on the first ever HIV cure scientific roadmap issued by IAS in 2012, reviews significant recent advances in HIV cure research, and presents a plan to address the most critical knowledge gaps in the field. Discussion of a new report on investment in cure research by the IAS HIV Cure resource tracking group and AVAC also cheered delegates at the cure confab – it shows that global investment in cure research has more than doubled since 2012.
Also on the pre-conference programme was TB2016, a global gathering focused on strategies to combat tuberculosis, the biggest killer of people living with HIV worldwide. “TB and HIV are partners in crime,” South African Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi told the capacity audience. A press conference to draw global attention to the interplay of the TB and HIV epidemics was chaired by incoming IAS President-Elect Linda-Gail Bekker.
Eight additional pre-conference sessions rounded out a packed weekend schedule, focusing on such pressing issues as achieving the 90-90-90 goals; giving voice to positive adolescents and to gay and bisexual men affected by HIV; addressing HIV and viral hepatitis co-infection; and many other topics.
Music and dancing filled the air on Sunday evening at the gala opening of the Global Village. Where else can you find the latest in evening wear constructed entirely of condoms, lunch fares from around the world, and the opportunity to talk one on one with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) responding to HIV from dozens of countries, all under the same roof? If you missed the opening, not to worry, the Global Village will be in full swing throughout the conference. Visit the SolidariTree, a chance for conference goers to add their voice to the fight against HIV stigma, the Children’s Radio Foundation, where youth reporters from South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will broadcast the news from AIDS 2016 to 8 million listeners, the HIV Disclosure Couch, the Research Literacy Zone, or any of the hundreds of other booths and displays that await you at the AIDS 2016 Global Village.
Not all the action at AIDS 2016 happens inside the conference venue, however. More than a thousand highly effective AIDS activists, who also happen to be grandmothers, wrapped up the The South Africa Grandmothers Gathering with a march to the International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday, where they rallied for better human rights-based responses to the epidemic. According to the event organizers, an estimated 14 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have been orphaned as a result of HIV, with many of these children being raised by their grandparents. Honorary grandmother Michel Sidibé of UNAIDS and former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis joined the march, and IAS President Chris Beyrer brought cheers when he reminded the crowd that “a movement inspired by love cannot fail.”

No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to cover every session at AIDS 2016. Not to worry, though. We have a team of rapporteurs charged with reporting on each major conference session. Starting tomorrow you can follow their reports here.

AIDS conference returns to a changed South Africa

The South Africa that hosts a global AIDS Conference next week has come a long way from the "AIDS pariah" that did so 16 years ago, when then President Thabo Mbeki stunningly dismissed the link between HIV and the disease.

AIDS summit in South Africa to warn of lagging effort

Sixteen years after Nelson Mandela galvanised the world to take up the fight against AIDS, experts and activists return to the South African city of Durban on Monday, seeking to revitalise the fight against the disease.

Durban set to welcome #AIDS2016 delegates

Durban - Sixteen years after Nelson Mandela galvanised the world to take up the fight against Aids, experts and activists return to the South African city of Durban on Monday, seeking to revitalise the fight against the disease.

A cure for AIDS is no longer unthinkable

Not many years ago, the idea of defeating the resilient virus that causes AIDS was far-fetched. But as 18,000 people gather this coming week in Durban, South Africa, for the 21st International AIDS Conference, the prospect of a cure is plausible enough that it is attracting increasing amounts of money, scientific research and attention.

¿Por qué no encontramos cura para el sida?

La cura no está cerca. Los mayores expertos en sida están reunidos en Durban (Sudáfrica) en la antesala de la conferencia internacional sobre la enfermedad, que comenzará el lunes. En el simposio Hacia una cura, que desde hace cuatro años se viene celebrando antes del congreso, han puesto en común los últimos avances y las líneas de investigación para llegar a ella.


Global Village Periscope Tour

12:30 to 13:30, SAST
Tune in to our Periscope channel or follow our AIDS 2016 Twitter feed starting at 12:30 SAST to get a first-hand look at the Global Village. If you have a booth in the Global Village, get ready for your close-up as we visit organizations and networking zones.

AIDS 2016 Opening Ceremony

19:30 to 21:00, SAST
Charlize Theron will deliver a welcome address at the AIDS 2016 opening ceremony. This will be followed by welcoming remarks from conference co-chairs, International AIDS Society President Chris Beyrer and Olive Shisana. We will see a welcome message from South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and a presentation of the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights Award by Charlize Theron.
Welcome to the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)
South Africa Grandmothers Gathering March

Four facts you need to know: Child marriage and HIV

With the Durban International AIDS Conference just around the corner, we’ve put together a list of four important facts you need to know on the links between child marriage and HIV.

Copyright © 2016 International AIDS Society, All rights reserved.

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