AIDS 2016 Daily Review
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Day Three of AIDS 2016: Achieving Targets and Accountability

The theme of accountability for achieving AIDS reduction targets resonated throughout AIDS 2016 on Wednesday. At the plenary session, “What is our Goal?,” Anton Pozniak challenged the audience to step up the global response to TB and hepatitis C, two major killers of people living with HIV (PLWHIV), through a greater focus on testing, early treatment, and the use of generic therapies to treat the two diseases. Presenting on the soon-to-start HVTN 702 vaccine study in South Africa, Larry Corey reported that vaccines are now back on the main stage, and reminded attendees that “getting to an AIDS-free generation will require a vaccine.”
Also at the Wednesday plenary, IAS President-Elect Linda-Gail Bekker presented the 2016 IAS CIPHER research awards to seven outstanding investigators in paediatric HIV. This CIPHER grant round is the largest in the initiative’s history, providing US$1.2 million for cutting edge research to improve the lives of infants, children, and adolescents affected by HIV. Also announced on Wednesday were the winners of the IAS Abstract Prizes, selected from among the most competitive pool of research abstracts in AIDS conference history.
Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy on HIV and AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, is passionate about the impact of HIV on people who inject drugs (PWID), and so were his fellow panelists in a Wednesday symposia session that addressed the failure to reach the UN target of cutting HIV transmission among PWIDs in half by 2015.  Participants not only addressed the toll of unsafe drug injection in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, the growing concern about unsafe injection in Africa, and the punitive policies and lack of services that led to the missed target – they also offered clear policy alternatives to turn back the burgeoning epidemic of HIV caused by unsafe injection.
Interim results presented on Wednesday from the SEARCH study, conducted in rural Kenya and Uganda, showed a significant advance toward achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. The community-based approach to HIV testing, combined with a ‘test and treat’ model of antiretroviral treatment (ART) access, increased the proportion of adults in these communities who were virally suppressed from 45% to 81% over two years.
High uptake and self-report of adherence to oral PrEP by African-Americans was the focus of HPTN 073 results, also presented Wednesday. In the US, HIV diagnoses of African-American gay and bisexual men increased by 87% from 2005-2014. And in a special session, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Chairman Bill Gates offered his perspective on the HIV treatment revolution and the need for creative new thinking in prevention. For those who believe we can ease the global AIDS response, Gates offered a simple lesson in demographics: “The largest generation in history,” he noted, “is entering an age when they are most at risk of HIV.”

Extraordinary microscopy imagery was used to illustrate how HIV travels through the body in the earliest days of infection in the session, “Acute HIV Infection: The Battle Begins.” Researchers are increasingly focused on understanding these first moments of infection, with the hope that new insights into how the virus establishes its foothold will guide the development of vaccines and other strategies to prevent it.  For a review of this and dozens of other sessions on the conference program Wednesday, and every day of the meeting, visit the conference Rapporteur Summaries.

Finally, more than one conference-goer was star-struck on Wednesday when Sir Elton John joined the crowd at AIDS 2016. The Rocket Man, and Elton John AIDS Foundation Chair David Furnish, joined Ambassador Deborah Birx of United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to announce that the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) Global Forum would receive the first two grants from a joint US$10 million fund to increase the capacity of local community-based organizations to provide high-quality HIV services for LGBT people. Birx moved the packed press conference with her remembrance of the young men who took to the streets in the early 1980’s to demand the original AIDS response, while Sir Elton John reminded all that without inclusion and respect for human rights, no amount of scientific progress can end AIDS.

For more details and scientific highlights, click here

Ein Plädoyer für Prophylaxe-Medikamente gegen HIV

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Germany)
Im Kampf gegen die Immunschwächekrankheit Aids spielen Prophylaxe-Medikamente eine wichtige Rolle. Sie könnten weltweit einen signifikanten Beitrag dazu leisten, die Zahl der HIV-Neuinfektionen zu senken, sagt Chris Beyrer im Interview mit der Deutschen Presse-Agentur. Er ist unter anderem Vorsitzender der Welt-Aids-Konferenz, die noch bis Freitag im südafrikanischen Durban tagt.


African study exceeds U.N. 'test and treat' goal for ending HIV pandemic
Reuters Foundation

A U.N. goal to get seven out of 10 HIV positive people to take a test, start medication and suppress the deadly virus in their blood is achievable, a study in East Africa showed on Wednesday, raising hopes of ending the AIDS pandemic.

Early HIV vaccine results lead to major trial: researchers

Agence France Presse

Promising results from an early safety trial with a potential HIV vaccine have paved the way for a major new study, researchers announced at the International AIDS Conference in Durban on Tuesday. An 18-month trial with a candidate vaccine dubbed HVTN100 drew on 252 participants at six sites in South Africa, one of the countries hardest-hit by an epidemic that has claimed more than 30 million lives worldwide since the 1980s.

Not an honour to host AIDS conference – Charlize

Health E-News
It is not an honour to host the 21st international AIDS conference, because we should have eliminated HIV by now, actress Charlize Theron told delegates at the opening of the AIDS conference in Durban last night. “I am sad to be here at 21st international AIDS conference. This is the second time that South Africa has hosted this conference, and it is not an honour,” said Theron.

Los miedos de una prostitute

El Pais
Miedo. Miedo a las palizas, a los abusos, a la policía, a ser forzadas al sexo anal. Miedo al arresto, a las violaciones, a los asesinatos, a los secuestros, a la extorsión, a que se rompa un condón y al VIH, si es que no lo portan ya. Miedo al estigma, al qué dirán, a que sus propias familias sepan lo que hacen, a poner a sus hijos frente a su realidad. Miedo incluso a enamorarse de un cliente. En una nave a las afueras de Ciudad del Cabo, más de una veintena de prostitutas hace terapia de grupo exponiendo todos los temores de un trabajo que en Sudáfrica es ilegal. Ser delincuentes por la forma en la que se ganan la vida les hace todavía más vulnerables a todas estas amenazas, algo que, con diferentes tipos de legislación, sucede en la mayoría del mundo.

What Are the Key Barriers?

08:45 - 10:45, SAST
Lennarth Hjelmåker, Swedish Ambassador for Global Health Salim Abdool Karim of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), will present awards for TB/HIV research, as well as awarding Young Investigators for their research in the field. Deborah Persaud of Johns Hopkins University will be addressing the barriers to a cure.

Ending AIDS with the Voices of Youth

13:00 - 14:00, SAST
This session addresses the HIV epidemic among adolescents with a particular emphasis on the impact stigma and discrimination have on youth. With remarks from Prince Seeiso, Prince Harry and Sir Elton John, a panel of young advocates will describe what is and what is not working for the HIV response among young people, and what needs to change to truly address the needs of youth with HIV.


Special Session: Accelerating the Decline of the Burden and Incidence of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa
Daily Highlights 19 July 2016
Daily Highlights 19 July 2016
Plenary Session: What is our goal?
Elton John AIDS Foundation and PEPFAR Announce Inaugural LGBT Fund Recipients

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