Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
11:13 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
20 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Health
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
AIDS conference opens at key turning point
Associated Press
United Nations AIDS chief Michel Sidibe speaks during the opening session of the International AIDS Conference in Washington, on Sunday, July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
United Nations AIDS chief Michel Sidibe speaks during the opening session of the International AIDS Conference in Washington, on Sunday, July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
A+ A-

WASHINGTON: Researchers, doctors and patients attending the world's largest AIDS conference are urging the world's governments not to cut back on the fight against the epidemic when it is at a turning point.

There is no cure or vaccine yet, but scientists say they have the tools to finally stem the spread of this intractable virus - largely by using treatment not just to save patients but to make them less infectious, too.

"Future generations are counting on our courage to think big, be bold and seize the opportunity before us," said Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco, a co-chair of the International AIDS Conference.

"We must resolve together never to go backwards," said Dr. Elly Katabira, president of the International AIDS Society, told the conference's opening session late Sunday.

More than 20,000 scientists, people living with HIV and policy-makers are meeting this week to figure out how to turn some scientific advances into practical protections, valuable additions to those tried-and-true condoms.

Studies show that treating people with HIV early, before they're sick, not only is life-saving for them but lowers their chances of spreading the virus through sex.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading U.S. AIDS researcher, said already, regions that are pushing to get more people tested and rushed into treatment are starting to see infections drop, from San Francisco and Washington to part of South Africa.

On another front, healthy people can take the daily AIDS medicine Truvada to lower their risk of infection from a sexual partner. Hard-hit countries are grappling with how to try that protection in their highest-risk populations.

Other goals include getting more HIV-infected pregnant women treated to protect their babies, and getting more men circumcised in developing countries to protect them from heterosexual infection.

But money is a big challenge during a global recession - and for countries weary of the fight against a disease with an ever-growing number of people who need care. Today, there are 34.2 million people living with HIV, and while infections are dropping slowly, still 2.5 million are infected every year.

The world spent $16.8 billion fighting AIDS in poor countries, the hardest-hit, last year. But that's still $7 billion a year shy of the amount needed to nearly double the 8 million people getting life-saving drugs by the world's goal of 2015.

"This gap is killing people," UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe told the conference. "My friends, the end of AIDS is not free. It is not too expensive. It is priceless."

 
Home Health
 
     
 
United States of America
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS