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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Continued Call for AIDS Treatment at 2010 AIDS Conference in Vienna

August 5th, 2010

This report comes from the 2010 International AIDS Conference which took place July 19-23 in Vienna, Austria. The Missionary Oblates JPIC offices were represented by Fr Tomáš Vyhnálek OMI, the JPIC coordinator for Europe based in Vienna. He also represented the Oblate JPIC offices in Washington D.C and the General office in Rome.

The 18th international Aids conference in Vienna ended Friday with one strong message: Despite the financial crisis the fight against HIV/AIDS must not decrease.

The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, including policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is an opportunity to assess the process, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Given the 2010 deadline for Universal Access set by world leaders, AIDS 2010 coincided with a major push for expanded access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. With a global economic crisis threatening to undermine public investments, the conference helped keep HIV on the front burner by demonstrating the importance of continued HIV investments to broaden health and development goals.

AIDS 2010 also gave an opportunity to highlight the critical connection between human rights and HIV; a dialogue begun in earnest in Mexico City in 2008.The selection of the AIDS 2010 host city was a reflection of the central role Vienna has played in bridging Eastern and Western Europe, and allowed for an examination of the epidemic’s impact in Eastern Europe.

New data, presented in Vienna shows that HIV therapy significantly reduces more than just the consequences or effects of the disease and mortality. For a well treated person, it is practically impossible for the virus to be passed on, as heterosexual infections are reduced by more than 90 percent. At the same time TB infection is reduced dramatically due to therapy.

Read our earlier post on this issue…

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