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Highlights from AIDS 2014

Here is some news coming out of of the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia this week:

  • The 20th International Aids Conference has wrapped up with a warning that laws in many countries were making it more difficult to combat the disease. The next conference is to be held in two years’ time. Read More
  • In a speech at the International AIDS conference on Wednesday, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said an AIDS-free generation is within reach if we boost HIV treatment, particularly in women and children. “We are trying to help countries eliminate mother-to-child transmission and this is one of the most exciting goals in public health and entirely achievable, and essential to achieving an Aids-free generation,” he said. Read More
  • A growing number of people have been living with HIV for 20 years or more. The UNAIDS organized event, Twenty Plus Positive Dialogues, focused on the lives and experiences of several panelists who have been living with HIV for decades and debated emerging issues. Read More
  • Research conducted in Zambia has found that couples voluntary counselling and testing (CVCT) can reduce HIV incidence rates within relationships. Read More
  • A study offering HIV testing and treatment to everyone living in rural districts of northern KwaZulu Natal  has found that home testing by a visiting counselor was highly acceptable to the local population – but people who tested HIV positive took longer than expected to start treatment. Read More
  • Various treatment strategies and avenues for future research have been discussed at the conference, but it’s becoming clear that very early antiretroviral therapy doesn’t achieve a cure. Dr. Deborah Persaud, principal researcher in the Mississippi baby case, discussed the reappearance of HIV in the “Mississippi Baby” and addresses questions about early treatment. Read More
  • UNICEF reported that while health outcomes are improving for younger and older HIV-positive patients, AIDS mortality rates in adolescents are increasing, especially among adolescent boys. These findings highlight the difficulties involved in transitioning from paediatric care to adult HIV services. The data also shows that HIV and AIDS programmes need to prioritise the needs of adolescents. Read More
  • At the conference, research conducted in South Africa was presented that shows a range of interventions, including cash grants, school feeding and psychosocial support can reduce HIV risk behavior by half in adolescent boys and girls. Read More
  • USAID announced +$500 million for new efforts to reach an AIDS-free generation. Read More
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report highlighting the impact of the expansion of HIV interventions, and the uneven progress and inequities across different age groups and populations. Read More
  • Researchers report that a new drug combination can speed up treatment for TB for drug resistant and co-infected HIV patients. Read More
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