End the HIV-AIDS Epidemic.
Not many conferences are Earth-shattering. This one was. The 10th International AIDS Science Society Conference in Mexico wound up on July 26.
In just two years since the 9th IAS the landscape on HIV–AIDS has changed. After three decades of research, science is delivering answers no one thought possible.
One thing that remains unspoken is the need for Civil Society to urge infected patients to GET TREATMENT. It works and it is getting easier. Get tested and if positive, start treatment.
- Test patients for HIV as a regular part of medical care.
- Counsel patients who do not have HIV on how to prevent it.
- Make sure people living with HIV are prescribed and take HIV medicines, stay in care and get supportive services such as nutrition, housing, or mental health services.
- Work with health departments to get and keep people in HIV medical care.
HIV is not a death sentence it is a chronic illness that can be treated as are other chronic illnesses treated and the outcome is a normal life that ends the spread of infection. Seek and get treatment.
More from 10th International AIDS Society Conference
This forum is where 5,000 participants from more than 140 countries work selflessly for a common goal and the betterment of human kind. It’s certainly a beautiful thing.
Dr. Fauci Can see the end of the HIV Epidemic. It’s more than a minute away.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), shared his thoughts to Anne Rancourt who interviewed Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Fauci maintains that in 2019 we now have the HIV prevention and treatment tools that, “if implemented properly and aggressively, could theoretically end the HIV epidemic”.
In conversation with his colleague Anne Rancourt, Dr. Fauci discussed:
- Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.: Dr. Fauci described the recently launched Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, which has set goals of decreasing HIV transmissions by 75 percent in 5 years and by 90 percent in 10 years. He and his HHS colleagues who designed the initiative believe that these goals can be achieved by aggressively implementing geographically and demographically focused HIV testing, prevention, and treatment (including PrEP and treatment as prevention).
- HIV vaccine: Dr. Fauci explained that research continues for a safe and effective HIV vaccine because that will be a “nail in the coffin” for the epidemic. Since it can be challenging to get the existing HIV prevention and treatment tools to all those who need them, he noted, “if you want a truly global, effective, durable end to the epidemic, the only way you’re going to do that is with a safe and effective vaccine together with all the other preventative modalities.”
- Undetectable equals Untransmittable, also sometimes called treatment as prevention, is also an important tool in the HIV prevention toolbox. He emphasized that a person who maintains an undetectable viral load by taking daily HIV medication cannot pass the virus to an HIV-negative sexual partner, calling this “the foundation of being able to end the epidemic.”
- PrEP: He noted the need for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in combination with treatment as prevention as essential to ending the epidemic. He pointed to results from four population-level studies from Africa that have suggested that PrEP in addition to universal treatment as prevention is required to reduce HIV incidence.
- Ongoing prevention and treatment research: He highlighted several areas of research being discussed at the conference, including studies on long-acting antiretroviral therapy, passive transfer of monoclonal antibodies, and new modes of delivering PrEP.
Asked if he is optimistic about ending the epidemic with available tools and new science, Dr. Fauci affirmed that he is.
“I don’t think it will be easy and I don’t think it will happen spontaneously. A lot of effort has to be put into it. But the one thing I’m absolutely certain of is that it’s possible…Right now it’s definitely possible. We just need to do it.”
Dr. Fauci’s presentations from the 2019 IAS Conference on HIV Science include:
USA has difficult problem with Stigma
Patients are not seeking treatment.
In March of this year, in Seattle, at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), Dr. Fauci provided a general overview of the American plan to decrease the number of new HIV infections by 75% in 5 years and by 90% in 10 years. He discussed how he and the leaders of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Indian Health Service (IHS), and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) have collaborated on a strategy to make best use of the highly effective tools that are now available – specifically, HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Dr. Fauci also discussed the roles that research and NIH, specifically, will play in the new initiative. The 19 NIH-supported Centers for HIV Research and six additional AIDS Research Centers supported by the National Institute of Mental Health will focus on implementation science and NIH also will continue to advance its HIV research agenda across a range of topics, including new and improved forms of HIV prevention and treatment, a vaccine, and research toward an HIV cure.
Dr. Fauci made clear that “we still have a significant problem with HIV in the United States,” with 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, 38,000 new HIV infections each year, and significant demographic and geographic disparities in new infections concentrated mostly among men who have sex with men and racial/ethnic minorities.