News / Health

AIDS Conference Wraps Up in Vienna

IAS President Dr. Elly Katabira
IAS President Dr. Elly Katabira

Multimedia

Margaret Besheer

The International AIDS Conference wrapped up in Vienna Friday, with the first African president taking the helm of the International AIDS Society.  Dr. Elly Katabira of Uganda said he will press rich countries to fulfill promises of funding for universal access to care for people living with HIV.

Dr. Katabira has worked extensively in the field of care and to support people with HIV.  He said improved healthcare access for HIV patients will be his top priority during his two-year tenure as IAS president.

"I am going to continue, where IAS has been, to encourage people - particularly the G8 and the G20 countries - to honor their commitments to put in funds so that there is increased access," said Katabira.

More than 33 million people worldwide are HIV positive.  In Vienna, some 20,000 scientists, advocates, experts and people living with the virus met to review progress and shortcomings in the global fight.

Prevention

On the prevention front, South African scientists Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim reported a promising breakthrough after successful clinical trials of the first microbicidal vaginal gel for women.  Quarraisha Abdool Karim spoke with VOA about the study's findings.

"What we found in the study was that women who were assigned to the tenofovir gel arm had 39 percent protection against getting infected compared to the placebo group," said  Karim. "Those women who used the gel more than 80 percent of the time when they had sex as we advised them to had 54 percent protection.  So that's quite a powerful effect."

Treatment

On the treatment front, UNAIDS debuted 'Treatment 2.0', a strategy to expand access to HIV prevention and treatment.  The initiative aims to avert an additional 10 million deaths by 2025.

There were also several rallies and events highlighting this year's theme of "Rights Here, Right Now" - urging governments to ensure the health and human rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS, including groups that are often discriminated against such as intravenous drug users, prisoners, sex workers and the homeless.

In sessions, participants discussed topics such as eliminating HIV transmission from mother-to-child; the links between HIV and tuberculosis, the emergence of HIV in people over age 50, and the need for more resources for the fight against AIDS.

Accomplishments

The conference also provided an opportunity to display new AIDS prevention and treatment innovations, such as American Doctor David Tomlinson's device for safe and sterile circumcision of baby boys.  Studies show male circumcision can cut the female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60 percent.

This year's conference was held in Vienna to highlight the growing HIV rate in nearby Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which is fueled by intravenous drug use.  At the conference, participants were urged to sign the "Vienna Declaration", which says the criminalization of illicit drug users is fueling the epidemic and calls for a full policy reorientation.

The next AIDS conference will be held in Washington, DC in 2012.

Related report by Ndimyake Mwakalyelye ("In Focus")

You May Like

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine Off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid