News / USA

Global AIDS Conference Wraps Up

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, Friday, July 27, 2012, in Washington, D.C.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, Friday, July 27, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
x
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, Friday, July 27, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, Friday, July 27, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Suzanne Presto
WASHINGTON D.C. — The 19th International AIDS Conference drew to a close in Washington, D.C., on Friday. 
 
Under the banner of "Turning the Tide Together," more than 20,000 delegates attended the six-day gathering, where speakers ranged from famous entertainers to high-level politicians to people working on the front lines of AIDS research.
 
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton addressed the conference's final session.
 
He said treating HIV-positive patients in some African countries is less costly than previously thought. His organization, the Clinton Foundation, recently completed a cost study in several African countries, including Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia.
 
"Treatment costs an average of just $200 per patient per year. That includes the cost of drugs, diagnostic tests, personnel and outpatient costs. There is no excuse for failing to provide treatment to the remaining 10 million people in need." 
  
He also highlighted the logistical challenges of battling HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
  
"To eliminate mother-to-child transmission, we need to test and treat women earlier and keep them on the treatment longer throughout the entire period of breastfeeding, when many of them live miles and miles and miles from the place where they get their medicine today," he said.
  
Clinton said he has spoken to healthcare workers who say there is not enough funding for pregnant women and mothers. 
 
The United States says it is donating an additional $80 million to help eliminate mother-to-child infections by 2015. 
 
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the conference earlier in the week, saying the United States is committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation.
  
"We will not back off; we will not back down. We will fight for the resources to achieve this historic milestone."
  
Researchers at the conference presented findings that highlight the benefits of treating HIV at the early stages of infection. One such study featured a group of HIV-positive patients in France. With early treatment, they could be taken off antiretroviral drugs and show no signs of a resurgence of their HIV infection.  
 
Michel Sidibe, the executive director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS said there needs to be more cure research.
  
"Today we should not just say, 'okay, let us have treatment.'  We should say, 'why not a cure?  Why not a vaccine?' That is the area where we need to put our energy, and that will bring us certainly to the end of this epidemic," he said.    
  
Activists disrupted sessions and panels to demand greater funding and resources for research and for those living with HIV and AIDS. "We can end AIDS!  We can end AIDS!" were among the slogans heard at the gathering.
  
A conference attendee living with HIV told VOA that he finds the activism invigorating.
  
"That's what this is all about. It's all about getting up and getting angry again," he said.
  
The 19th International AIDS conference was held in the United States for the first time in 22 years, after President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on HIV-positive people entering the country. 
 
Conference organizers say there are still 46 countries, territories and areas that impose HIV-related travel restrictions.
 
The 20th International AIDS Conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, in July 2014.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs