The Nineteenth International AIDS Conference in held in Washington on Sunday attracted over 20000 participants from all over the world. Aids researchers and stakeholders among other solutions for solving the HIV scourge identified international solidarity as key in fighting the disease.
Former US Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Mark Dybul, dismissed pessimistic assessments of the chances of ending AIDS, noting that the Global Fund, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and antiretroviral treatment programmes managed by Africans had all been considered impossible until they were attempted, with US financial support and political will.
“Our big idea, which many didn’t think was on the horizon five years ago, is that we can start to end AIDS. Future generations are counting on our courage to think big, be bold, and seize the opportunity before us.” Professor Diane Havlir said while welcoming delegates.
The US Government also called on the World Bank to play a role in the reduction of HIV infections by creating financing systems and loan resources which ensure money moves from the North to the South and not the other way round.
The State Department Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby said that the gains so far made by putting those infected on Anti-Retroviral treatment could easily be reversed if governments and partners slowdown in their commitment towards the fight due to inadequate resources.
Professor Elly Katabira, outgoing President of the International AIDS Society thanked the American people for their support for antiretroviral treatment through the PEPFAR programme.
Other helping solutions discussed at the conference include ensuring evidence-based HIV prevention, treatment and care,ending stigma, discrimination, legal sanctions and human rights abuses against people living with HIV and those at risk,increasing HIV testing, counseling and linkages to prevention, care and support services, Providing treatment for all pregnant and nursing women living with HIV and end peri-natal transmission.