Category: Events And Meetings

The 16th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA) and PMTCT

Recently, World HIV/AIDS day was commemorated in Ethiopia with workshops for the people with free HIV tests. But what was even more notable was that Addis Ababa was the host for the 16th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA). ICASA is a forum that was established with the sole intent of having Africans learning from one another and to have the issues that needed to be addressed in the fight against HIV/AIDS addressed by Africans themselves. So far, it has allowed for 15 conferences to be held all over the continent where leaders and communities have been able to keep the fight against the disease going strong.

Notably present at the conference’s inauguration, held at the Millennium Exhibition Hall, were ex-president of the United States – George W. Bush and his family, ex-president of Botswana – Festus Mogae, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia- Meles Zenawi, Dr. Michel Sidibe – UNAIDS Executive Director and other leaders of societies and religious heads as well as other stakeholders in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.


Read More

Voices of Our Future Leaders – One Young World Summit 2011

David Cross

David Cross at One Young World Summit 2011

It is the hope of each generation that the next one will make even more of a positive difference. I have the honor of attending the “One Young World Summit 2011” in Zurich and it is inspiring to see the youth of today truly dedicated to making a difference. This premiere event brings together the best, and brightest from around the world to ensure that their concerns, opinions and solutions are heard.

The Summit is designed to address the most pressing issues in the world today and we strongly believe that the reduction of antibiotic resistant infections should be a part of any global health initiative.

Carolyn Cross

Carolyn Cross, CEO & Founder Ondine Biomedical

Today, 130 million doses of antibiotics are administered every year, and up to half of these have been deemed as unnecessary. Antibiotic resistant superbugs have become a global problem, and we may be heading towards a pre-antibiotic era of medication where we will be unable to treat simple infections.

In attending this conference it is my hope to influence some of the delegates to carry on from where I will leave off in my push to reduce antibiotic resistant infections.

You can view some of the highlights from the One Young World Summit at: http://www.oneyoungworld.com and I will be sure to follow up with an overview.

Until then congratulations to all of the young voices of our future.

International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference – Day 4

As I wrote on Monday, the excitement at the 2011 ISA conference are the conversation and reports about HIV prevention and the potential for a cure.  The day started with a presentation from the director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Injection drug use is the most commonly recognized drug use related vector for HIV transmission.  However, non-injecting drug use also increases the likelihood of HIV transmission. Data shows that the prevalence of HIV is as high in non-injecting drug users as it is in injecting drug users worldwide.  The reason is due to the physiological changes in the brain due to drug use and addiction.  Stimulation of the dopamine receptors in the brain (the reward center that promotes sexual arousal) together with inhibition in parts of the frontal lobe (the area of the brain we use to control our impulsive behaviors) are the result of drug use and abuse.  This combinatorial effect produces a propensity for injection and non-injection drug users to engage in high HIV risk sexual behavior.  In the context of a HIV prevention plan, this means we need to consider adequate attention and treatment for drug users in order to contain transmission and protect the general population.

Read More

International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference – Day 3

During today’s plenary session we heard HIV experts from Australia, the Ivory Coast and Belgium.  Susan Kippax (Australia) talked about the social barriers to effective HIV prevention.  She argued that any prevention plan will require people to change their social practices.  Additionally, she presented the case that people’s behavior cannot be separated from their social, cultural and political structure and the biomedical pieces of prevention planning cannot be separated from the non-biomedical ones.  As such, Kippax voiced the requirement that social scientists be part of the discussion when creating HIV prevention plans and policy. Read More

International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference – Day 2

The venue for the 2011 International AIDS Society Conference is Rome’s music auditorium.  There are four main music halls being used simultaneously to host main sessions.  Delegates sit in acoustically optimized rooms as though they were attending a symphony or ballet, but the music and dancing on the stages is being carried out by the international leaders in HIV/AIDS research and clinical practice.  After the Day 1 festivities, the conference is in full swing and the venue is abuzz with science.

The plenary sessions each day set the stage for the future conference sessions.  Monday’s plenary session featured three presentations; 1) looking at the current state of vaccine development, 2) managing treatment of HIV/AIDS in 2011 and 3) using combination therapies for prevention. Read More

International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference – Day 1

The 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention officially began in Rome at 7:30 PM on Sunday July 17th, 2011 although there were a number of satellite meetings starting around noon.  I spent the afternoon in a special session organized by the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The Session was entitled Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV: Measuring the Effectiveness of National PMTCT Programs.  There is a great deal of emphasis in the HIV research and clinical community on women and children.  Two years ago at the IAS conference in Cape Town there was an emphasis on scaling up prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programs and antenatal care facilities; two years later we want to evaluate their effectiveness.  The session started with presentations from both the WHO and the CDC with draft protocols outlining how to conduct an effective evaluation.  In addition to providing guidelines on how to determine infant exposure and/or infection, the discussions included the ethical challenges of testing orphans and infants brought to a clinic by a sibling or community member.  Who provides consent? And, to whom is the result reported.

Read More

Global Business Coalition 2011: Reflections On The Past Decade

It has been just over a month since the Global Business Coalition (GBC) met in New York for their 10th anniversary conference and awards dinner! Several things about that conference continue to give me pause for reflection. The big news was the Coalition’s name and scope change. The GBC on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria has changed its name to GBCHealth with a new logo and the tagline ‘Mobilizing Business for a Healthy World’. As I reflect on this change it strikes me as a natural progression that may NOT have been so predictable. So often in the developed world we generously provide dollars and service through non-profit organizations to aid with crisis’ in developing countries. This model appeared to work well for disaster relief or other acute circumstances that arose; then the HIV/AIDS health crisis appeared on the scene. After decades of spending billions of dollars and millions of man hours annually, we have still not been able to contain the HIV/AIDS health crisis.

One outcome from the, so far unsuccessful fight against HIV/AIDS is a better understanding of what is really required to aid developing countries in the field of health care. The evolution of the GBC reflects this growing understanding. In 2001 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for greater action from the business sector in response to HIV/AIDS. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke led the response taking the helm of the non-profit, GBC on HIV/AIDS. It soon became clear the scope of GBC on HIV/AIDS needed to expand to include tuberculosis and malaria because these two diseases were so prevalent in countries where HIV/AIDS was most prolific; often occurring as co-infections or as the root cause of mortality after AIDS had compromised the immune system. Outcome: GBC on HIV/AIDS became GBC on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Read More

National HIV Testing Day Is June 27th

On Monday, June 27th, the U.S. observes National HIV Testing Day, a day which encourages HIV testing and early detection of HIV/AIDS. This year’s event comes at an important time as we mark 30 years since the first reported diagnosis of what would later be known as AIDS.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate more than 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV, and of those, approximately one in five are unaware they have the virus.1  These 230,000 people are responsible for transmitting more than half of the 56,000 HIV infections that occur annually.2 This is why testing is so important.  In 2006, the CDC recommended that a one-time HIV test become routine for all persons between ages 13 and 64, and that those with high-risk behavior such as intravenous drug use and multiple sexual partners be tested annually. Sadly, these recommendations are not followed comprehensively, and too few people are being screened.


Read More

Vitalwave Is Live-Blogging From The Global Business Coalition – Day 2

8:05am: Yesterday, the GBC special session meetings were hosted by Thompson Reuters in their building on Times Square. Today, the GBC Health Conference will be held at Cipriani Wall Street – an impressive venue in the heart of the financial district.

8:40am: John Tedstrom, CEO of the GBC announces that the Global Business Coalition on HIV, Malaria and TB will change its name to GBC Health and expand its scope to global health.

What does this mean and why would GBC expand its scope in the current economic climate when there is still so much to be done in HIV?  I think this is because HIV is not a disease that exists in isolation. Very few HIV+ people have HIV as their only health issue. GBC Health will now address the issues of HIV, malaria and TB in an appropriate  context. There are 33 million people living with HIV worldwide. There  are 90 million people in China living with diabetes. There are lots of big issues on the global health stage.  The lessons learned and progress made by GBC over the last ten yrs place GBC in a unique position to lead businesses in an effort to address issues in global health in a bigger and broader way. It is a challenging time for GBC, but based on their past successes, it will be exciting to see what impact they will have in the coming future. Read More

Vitalwave Is Live-Blogging From The Global Business Coalition – Day 1

8:47am: We’re here live at the GBC in New York! Looking forward to an exciting few days.

8:53am: @ the opening session of the GBC: “Creating An HIV Free Generation In Kenya.” This is inspired by the idea that “If we can create hope, we can save lives.” This is a pilot program using private sector core comps from the likes of nike, MTV, and Warner bros. Targeting youth (age 10-24) to avoid HIV (making it cool to change behaviour and avoid HIV)

8:53am: John speaks at GBC about MTVs role in the pilot HIV free generation partnership.

9:50am: Starting the next GBC special session – “innovative financing for health”. This session will discuss trends, challenges, and future of developing pioneering platforms to mobilize resources.

10:01am: Seth Berkley CEO of international AIDS vaccine initiative says there are more drugs to treat HIV then all other viruses put together, but we have no HIV vaccine yet. Read More

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Staypressed theme by Themocracy