Almost half the world’s population – an estimated three billion people – live in areas where malaria is transmitted. Endemic to 107 countries in the tropics and subtropics, it is responsible for around one million deaths globally every year, with sub-Saharan Africa the hardest hit.
The 19th International AIDS conference may have concluded last week but the work to really end AIDS continues.
The IAS conference concluded last Friday after an exhausting but fascinating week of presentations, meetings, networking and, dare I say it, information overload!
The 19th International AIDS Conference is drawing to a close and it is time for us as delegates to reflect on what messages we are going to take away from the conference.
Many delegates have been horrified about what is going on – or not going on – regarding HIV in the US, especially the extent to which it impacts on African-Americans who make up 14% of the US population yet account for 44% of new HIV infections.
Yesterday was supposed to be one of those days that I was going to remember forever, for the possibility of being pleasantly surprised by at least one of the famous residents of the White House dropping in on the meeting I was invited to there.
Throughout the course of the last week, I have been learning a lot about HIV in the US and I have to say that I have found some of the statistics really frightening. The US has just over one million people living with HIV – the highest number in the developed world – and according to some sources, an American is infected every 10 minutes.
The US seems to be behind on the issue of addressing HIV in places of worship, as well as having networks of religious leaders who are informed (or HIV- friendly) to reach communities and make sure that people access HIV testing.
Ahead of the International AIDS Conference next week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has approved a new ‘wonder’ drug called Truvada, which will help to reduce new HIV infections among some of the most vulnerable people.
The key idea of INERELA was to tap into the unique role and authority that religious leaders play in providing moral and ethical guidance within communities, using that to contribute in a productive way to the HIV response; their public opinions can influence entire nations.
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