Vienna HIV/AIDS 2010 Conference Points to Prevention

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The New England Journal of Medicine released a prospective on July 14, 2010 on the upcoming Vienna conference and the future planning of HIV vaccines. This is an area of increased focus especially with President Obama’s July 13 Memorandum—Implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The memorandum helped to fill in the holes of the Act Against AIDS of 2009. Critics had said Obama’s prior effort lacked preventive care, which was a major problem of the past in the war on AIDS. The new memorandum has been said to have set aside 30 million dollars for these new objectives.

This is good news for authors Waynce C. Koff, Ph.D. and Seth F. Berkley, M.D. of the prospective. “The Renaissance in HIV Vaccine Development –Future Directions” focused primarily on the Vienna convention’s attendee’s receipt of new information of the results of recent clinical trials. The prospective cites several exciting developments that led to confidence in a vaccine within the next era of battles against HIV/AIDS. The prospective further discussed the problems that preventive care has faced in the past 30 years since the fight began in the United States.

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The authors state, “Fully capitalizing on the recent developments in the HIV vaccine field will help to ensure that we have the requisite tools for prevention, making it possible for discussions at future international AIDS conferences to focus on how we are winning the war against HIV” They cited the global financial crisis as having robbed preventive medicine research of about 10% in investments. However, with the Presidential memorandum, that may change soon as well as with the world’s re-commitment to the fight.

Additionally, Awards for ‘innovative HIV research” were announced yesterday. The Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research (CNIHR) grants total $3.4 million dollars. These grants will fund projects for up to two years and are intending to advance the understanding of HIV. This includes long-term survival and preventive measures.

Another interesting development in the preventive care movement is The Vienna Declaration is supported by Professor Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, co-discoverer of HIV. According to the declaration and its supporters, the War on Drugs policy has contributed to the spread of HIV infections (for every two people who seek treatments of HIV, five more are newly infected). Indeed, there is evidence that the most common form of new infections, world-wide, are through IV drug use. The declaration calls for a new focus because “addiction is a medical condition and not a crime.” The supporters feel with a new focus that encompasses that, we can bring more treatment and prevent more new infections by eradicating addition rather than attempting to enforce “futile endeavors.”

The International AIDS conference will be held in Vienna, Austria from July 18, 2010 to July 23, 2010. Weeklong events include the AIDS Memorial Banner, Threads of Memory, Youth Pavilion, Youths as Agents for Change—Direct Voices, and more. For a complete program, please click here .

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