XVII International AIDS Conference - 4 Precious Initiatives
3 through Aug.
8 days was an exquisite forum for sharing and showcasing of ideas from international experts.
It also saw the launch of various invaluable initiatives by different organizations.
Of which, the following four seemed to be quite striking.
The Release of "Blueprint 2008," for AIDS Vaccine Development by The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) Despite the fact that this year's IAC conference was devoid of a plenary session on AIDS vaccine, like the previous ones, many researchers intensely reemphasized the need for a vaccine to make the world AIDS-free.
The IAVI announced the release of "Blueprint 2008.
" I think AIDS vaccines are positively the ultimate answer, but till that time HIV drugs should be made available to all those who need them.
The Blueprint 2008 stresses on three key areas: The mission to develop a vaccine should be divided up into a set of intermediate milestones, as this would enable measurement of progress as well as hold people accountable.
There's a need to trim and improve the pipeline by a big measure.
The number of 30-or so candidates in the pipeline need to be reduced based on the "probability of success.
" The final recommendation calls for a sustained effort with an ample supply of new cader of young researchers coupled with stable financing for flexibility.
The YWCA Report: 'Nothing About Us Without Us: a report from the HIV-Positive Women's Forum This insightful report comes in the wake of the unique challenges that women living with HIV face, and the special needs that they have.
It is an analysis and evaluation of the "Positive Women's Forum," coupled with the feedback gathered back then.
The Positive Women's Forum was an unprecedented meeting conducted on July 2007 as a segment of the International Women's Summit on HIV and AIDS.
The report offers insight, and stresses that for epidemic control programs to be effective women living with HIV must come forward and lead the AIDS response.
Also that HIV positive women must become involved equal partners to shape AIDS programs and policies, weather they be for prevention or distribution of HIV drugs.
The Plan: "Global Alliance on HIV" The program is the brain child of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and was launched in the Americas just before the conference.
The initiative, expected to benefit over 7 million would be prevalent in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The objective is to raise about 22.
3 million Swiss francs, which translate into US$ 21.
4 million, in order to give an impetus to HIV and AIDS programs in the Americas.
It is slated to begin with the following ten nations, Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica.
However, in a couple of years a larger number of countries would be included.
Of the 33.
6 million people infected with HIV around the world, 1.
6 million live in Latin America.
And this program seeks to adapt an approach that's based on the prevention, treatment, care and reduction of stigma and discrimination.
Furthermore, of the 7,300,000 people estimated to benefit, groups of special focus would include children with HIV, children orphaned due to HIV, sex workers and of course all those living with HIV.
Open Society Institute Report: "Our Lives Matter: Sex Workers Unite for Health and Rights" The report "Our Lives Matter:..
"published in August by the Open Society Institute provides coverage of how sex workers in eight countries have organized themselves to protect their health and human rights.
It delves deep into the many ways by which sex workers have battled, violence, extortion and incarceration in their fight against securing equal health opportunities.
The eight groups from different countries profiled in the report include Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (South Africa), Davida (Brazil), Durjoy Nari Shongho (Bangladesh), Humanitarian Action (Russia), Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (India), Odyseus (Slovakia), Urban Justice Center's Sex Workers Project (United States) and Stella (Canada).
While HIV is indeed a tough challenge for the world, but it's heartening that so much effort is being put in by every one from international organizations to the medical industry, to find a solution.
And I'm sure the humans would win over the virus one day.