Here at the Microbicides 2010 conference in Pittsburgh I got a chance to talk with Dr. Gita Ramjee, one of the top researchers in the field, about the most exciting scientific challenges being discussed at the meeting. Dr Ramjee is the Director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. She also explains in the interview why development of an effective microbicide for rectal use is so crucial, for both men and women in Africa, in particular given higher than expected rates of reported anal sex in several countries, as well as in many other regions of the world including the United States.
Posts Tagged ‘HIV Implementers’ Meeting’
Please note: the HIV Implementers Liveblog has concluded. Please visit the main page of the Science Speaks blog at https://sciencespeaks.wordpress.com for further articles and coverage of other events.
Caroline Ryan is the author of this post. Ryan is Director of Program Services and Chief Technical Officer in the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, or the PEPFAR program.
Here is some information from the rapporteur session at the end of 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting. It covered 59 sessions and 255 presentations in addition to selected posters.
Here are some highlights from each of the sessions:
1. Women and Children – (more…)
Editor’s Note: Check back on Sunday, when we expect a few more guest bloggers to weigh in with their impressions and insights from the conference.
It has been busy — and full of challenging issues.
The HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting this year in Windhoek (which ends early Sunday) has been quite different from any of the preceeding gatherings — as UNICEF’s Jimmy Kolker noted in an earlier post.
There was the definite sense that the global response against AIDS had moved into a new phase — a time when it was necessary to take thoughtful stock, to stop a minute, and look back at the last five years of nonstop running that put programs in place, and saved so many lives.
One hot-button – but little covered – issue around AIDS is HIV/TB co-infection. In March, the World Health Organization released a report estimating one out of every four TB deaths is HIV related, or twice as many as previously believed. The report estimated 456,000 deaths of people infected with both TB and HIV.
Today, the chilling threat of HIV/TB co-infection hit home to people around the world who had heard the stories – and voice — of South African health activist Thembi Ngubane, 24, in her radio diaries of her struggle against the AIDS virus. She died earlier this week, and today her family held a memorial service.
The urgency to do something about HIV/TB co-infection also unfolded here at the HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting in a session that had drama as well – a South African HIV and TB doctor pleading that policymakers around the world do much more to fight the growing threat. (Next week, a US Senate committee is expected to be marking up the US foreign operations bill, which includes almost all global TB and HIV funding.)
Susan Kasedde is the author of this guest blog. She is regional advisor with UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa.
On Thursday evening I moderated a very interesting satellite session with the title ‘Knowledge Translation and HIV Incidence Measurement’. At this session, countries reported on the results of the “Modes of HIV Transmission” studies they carried out last year with the support of UNAIDS and the World Bank. The purpose of these studies was to better understand the nature of the national epidemics in these countries and examine the adequacy, gaps and misalignment in their current prevention responses and resource allocation for prevention.
It was particularly interesting to hear from the country representatives on how the results of the Modes of Transmission studies have impacted on policy and strategy development at the national level and on the overall national discourse around HIV prevention. For instance, in Kenya, the studies’ results have helped defined the country’s national HIV prevention strategy and review options for cost effectiveness of HIV programmes. In Lesotho, they have prompted the development of a national behaviour change communication strategy ,while Uganda has defined a new prevention policy and guidelines and has declared 2010 the ‘year of couple testing’ based on findings from the study that most infections occur in long term, stable relationships which were previously perceived to be low risk. (more…)
Dr. John Idoko is Director General of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA). He started his position just three months ago. For the last 14 years, he has worked on AIDS programs, where his last job was principal investigator of the Harvard PEPFAR program in Jos – overseeing one of the largest clinics in Africa, treating 11,000 AIDS patients.
Q: What do you think about some of the messages from this conference — that AIDS programs are wasteful and they need to be more efficient?
JI: I agree a lot with that. One of the things that fascinates me, is that quality reduces cost. And if we can harmonize programs, we can also reduce cost.