Reflections on the Opening of AIDS 2012

By Teresa Sullivan

The opening of the International Conference on the July 23, 2012 was attended by more than 30,000 people. I was sitting in amazement because this was my first time at an International AIDS conference.

I truly engage with other people from other Counties that spoke different languages but had the same message: “End AIDS now we can turning the tide together.” Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health spoke on the new area of HARRT and the new drugs that people can be adhered to with low side effects. Mr. Fauci said globally we must upscale programs that linkage people to care and get those that test positive into care early. The main focus was on scaling up treatment as prevention methods that comprehensive and works in the real world.  I like to frame it as treatment must include prevention. We must implement programs that work.

Phil Wilson confirmed that in the United States 1.1 million people are living with HIV and 1 out of 4 black MSM will become positive before the age of 24. Annual physicals must include HIV testing and full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. People living with HIV must have access to treatment in the U.S. and globally. Lastly, we must integrate HIV prevention efforts with biomedical interventions.

Hillary Clinton was the keynote for AIDS 2012. Mrs. Clinton said she was here to set goals for a AIDS free generation, this means no child globally born positive and when teen ages become sexually active the change of them becoming positive is no longer a problem. 60% of women in South Africa are living with AIDS and their reproductive rights are being violated by forced sterilizations. In South Africa girls between the ages of 15 thru 24 are living with HIV and may live to the age of 30.