News / Africa

Checking the AIDS 2012 Report Card

AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren.  (De Capua)AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren. (De Capua)
x
AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren.  (De Capua)
AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren. (De Capua)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
The 19th international AIDS Conference produced a flood of reports, recommendations and warnings about the epidemic. The head of a leading AIDS advocacy group questions whether such meetings are getting too big and too complex.



AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren says on a scale from one to 10, he gives AIDS 2012 a score of five. He gives the conference high marks for political commitment, vision and rhetoric, but low scores for science and – what he called – the “nuts and bolts” of what comes next.

“The conference is too big, too long. So you have all of this noise and the challenge is [in] the next week or two how do we cut through that noise and figure out, for me the single most important question, now what?”

The conference program is the size of a phone book, listing many sessions from early morning to evening. Warren says the program reflects the complexity of the epidemic.
Program for the 19th International AIDS Conference (De Capua)Program for the 19th International AIDS Conference (De Capua)
x
Program for the 19th International AIDS Conference (De Capua)
Program for the 19th International AIDS Conference (De Capua)

“This is certainly a scientific meeting to a small degree. It’s a policy to a small degree. It’s a community forum to a very large degree. I’m that’s good. It’s exciting that we see all of these different elements come together. Sifting through it is hard. One of the good parts of the conference is actually what happens outside of the conference room. You can get the power point presentations or see the slides on line or watch the webcast. I think the best part of the conference is to connect with the partners on the ground, who are doing the work,” he said.

He said many terms are “bandied about” at the conference, such as “ending AIDS,” “ending the epidemic,’ and an “AIDS-free generation.” He said they all have slightly different meanings.

“They’re all very aspirational goals. I’m excited about the aspirational goals. I think they give us a direction. They give us a target, but nothing about this is simple. I think what this meeting tells me is that we’re not here to celebrate success because we have not been successful in our AIDS response. We’re here, though, celebrating the opportunity that we might succeed,” he said.

But he said to do that, very specific targets must be set and resources must be used very efficiently. Warren supports a combination approach to HIV/AIDS.

“If we only dealt with stigma and discrimination, we would make enormous progress. We wouldn’t end the epidemic though. If we only dealt with Treatment as Prevention, we would make progress, but we wouldn’t end the epidemic. If we had a vaccine, we would make great progress, but we wouldn’t end the epidemic. The best AIDS response is the one that puts all of the pieces together,” he said.

He added that all those battling the epidemic, whether on the science or social level, must base their efforts on evidence. Only then, Warren says, will the next step be reached.

AIDS 2014 will be held Melbourne, Australia.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid