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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid