Posts tagged: PMTCT

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.

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Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV: Development of Infant Drug Resistance

In September of 2000, the General Assembly of the United Nations held the Millennium Summit to adopt an “Earth Charter” and a “Declaration” that would lead to global governance.  The summit focused on the role of the United Nations in the 21st century; in particular, the UN’s role in pulling over one billion people out of extreme poverty, halting the pandemic of HIV/AIDS and protecting the global environment.  With 150 heads of state in attendance, it was the largest gathering of world leaders in history as of 2000; the outcome of this summit was eight international development objectives known as the UN Millennium Goals.  Two of these goals expressed an intention by the year 2015 to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS1 and to reduce by 66% the infant mortality rate 2.

Using a class of pharmaceutical drugs known as anti-retrovirals (ARVs), great strides have been made toward achieving these UN Millennium Goals.  However, each year approximately 300,000 infants still contract HIV/AIDS 3.  Almost all of these HIV+ infants are infected through mother-to-child transmission, and in the absence of treatment,  half will die before the age of two.  Using ARV therapy, the total rate of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) can be reduced to between two and five percent (without treatment, rates are between 20-45%) 4.   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 »

Vitalwave Will Live-Blog From The Global Business Coalition’s Annual Conference!

The 10th Anniversary of the Global Business Coalition’s Annual Conference will take place in New York City June 1stand 2nd.  With the theme of “Bold Leadership.  Big Impact,” the 2011 GBC Conference will focus on “Business Driving Change for a Healthier World.”

Vitalwave’s own Bryon Bhagwandin will live-blog from this event featuring special sessions, panel discussions, an awards dinner and fund-raising auction presented by a star-studded line-up of over 1,000 business executives, policy makers, celebrities and thought leaders.  Some of the presenters include Sir Richard Branson, George Soros, Ted Turner, Gordon Brown, Kenneth Cole and Sarah Jessica Parker.  In addition, Whoopi Goldberg will host the Gala Awards dinner where Sigourney Weaver and Kim Cattrall will present awards and Natalie Merchant will provide musical entertainment.

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