International AIDS conference ends with calls for expanded response to the scourge

By Henry Neondo, Rio de Janeiro

The 3rd IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment concluded yesterday with international leaders in AIDS research and policy calling for a revitalised response to the global epidemic that builds on new evidence of successful programs and transforms promising research into improved prevention and treatment interventions.

In a special lecture today, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot gave a report on the status of the response and what it will take to turn the epidemic around.

"AIDS poses unprecedented challenges as much to science as to public policy. As such it is crucial that we plan for the long term while we take emergency actions to make universal access to HIV prevention and treatment a reality. We need much faster translation of scientific research into practical solutions to reach these goals," said Dr Piot.

New, and potentially exciting data on the preventive effect of male circumcision were presented on Tuesday, and the same day featured a dynamic forum on brand and generic drugs. The Wednesday plenary included a report on new directions in AIDS treatment.

One of the key lessons from the Conference is the importance of integrating HIV prevention and treatment strategies in order to take advantage of the synergy between the two and to quickly translate science into practice and policy.

More than 5,500 participants attended the Conference to hear the latest developments in basic, clinical and prevention science.

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