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Important Advances in Pediatric AIDS Drug Development December 3rd, 2014

moment_quoteWorld AIDS Day saw two important announcements regarding development of much-needed pediatric AIDS drugs. This is an issue on which the Oblates and other faith-based investors in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have pressed pharmaceutical companies on for years. Since most pediatric AIDS patients are in poor, developing countries, the usual market incentive for drug development does not exist. And, the development of pediatric AIDS drugs, particularly for infants, is challenging. ICCR members have actively encouraged the major pharmaceutical companies to participate in the Medicines Patent Pool, a mechanism established under the auspices of the UN to ‘pool’ patents for drugs to make existing formulations more readily available for generic production and for innovative fixed dose combinations to be developed.

On Monday, World AIDS Day, Abbvie announced a licensing agreement for lopinavir (LPV) and ritonavir (r), top World Health Organization-recommended medicines for children. The license will enable other companies and organizations to re-formulate and manufacture specially designed LPV/r and r pediatric treatments for distribution in low- and middle-income countries where 99% of children with HIV in the developing world live. [Abbvie is a spinoff of Abbott Laboratories that contains the research-based pharmaceutical business.]

On the same day, the HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum announced that the forum is joining PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI) in the newly established “Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action” to accelerate innovation and save children’s lives. The initiative is designed to accelerate the development of new, high-priority pediatric ARV co-formulations for first- and second-line treatment by 2017.

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International AIDS 2012, July 22 – 27: Turning the Tide Together July 28th, 2012

The following issues were discussed at the International AIDS Conference this week:

Oblates at the AIDS Conference

Faith-Based Organizations Meet To Discuss HIV/AIDS Response at the 2012 International AIDS Conference

On the sidelines of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), faith-based organizations and leaders came together to discuss their efforts to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. One faith gathering, titled “The Summit on the Role of the Christian Faith Community in Global Health and HIV/AIDS,” was held at Georgetown University. Other faith based pre-conferences included the International Catholic AIDS conference at American Catholic University and the InterFaith International Conference on AIDS. Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) – in which the Oblates are active – presented on one of the panels about the long-standing faith-based dialogs with pharmaceutical companies.

France To Launch Financial Transactions Tax To Help Fund Global AIDS Response

“A new tax on financial transactions is set to launch in France in August, and could generate billions of dollars to help fund the global fight against HIV/AIDS,…We want to create additional innovative financing instruments. This is the aim of the tax on financial transactions which my country has decided to implement,” said French President Francois Hollande, speaking in a pre-recorded video message at the plenary session of the International AIDS Conference.




Secretary Clinton Reaffirms the United State Government’s Commitment To an ‘AIDS-Free Generation,’ Pledging More Than $150M For Global Efforts

In a speech delivered at the XIX International AIDS Conference last Monday, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underscored the United States commitment to achieving an ‘AIDS-free generation’ and announced more than $150 million in additional funding. The breakdown of the pledge is as follows:

  • $80 million, to be dedicated towards preventing mother-to-child transmission abroad, with the goal of eliminating it by the year 2015;
  • $40 million allotted for voluntary male circumcision in Africa to decrease risk of transmission of the virus;
  • $15 million for research on interventions;
  • $20 million toward bolstering country-led efforts to expand HIV-related services;
  • $2 million funding for civil society groups to reach key populations affected by HIV

Marching with AIDS activists near the White House

Oblates at the Global Village, The Heart of the International AIDS 2012 Conference

The Global Village at the International AIDS Conference has been a platform for communities, activists and practitioners representing diversity and solidarity. The Oblates were represented by JPIC Staff George Ngolwe, summer Fellow Fr. Ashok Stephen OMI (Sri Lanka), who attended several sessions at the global village, and Fr. Joseph Phiri OMI (Zambia) who took time from his busy academic schedule to volunteer at the Conference. See elsewhere on the JPIC website for the photos from the AIDS conference.

The next International AIDS Conference will be held in Melbourne in July 2014

Oblates Attend HIV-AIDS Conference in Washington, DC July 24th, 2012

Oblate JPIC Staff, George Ngolwe and friends at the 2012 Washington DC AIDS Conference


Fr. Ashok Stephen OMI at the 2012 Washington AIDS Conference. Novartis is fighting an 'anti-evergreening' provision of the law in India.


Female AIDS Activists at the Washington DC AIDS Conference


Fr. Ashok Stephen OMI with Advocates for the Robin Hood Tax marching in Washington, DC

Marching with AIDS activists near the White House



2012 International AIDS Conference, Washington, DC July 13th, 2012

The 19th International AIDS Conference will take place in Washington, DC from July 22-27, 2012. AIDS 2012 will bring together leading scientists, pharmaceutical companies, public health professionals, policy-makers and community and youth leaders to review recent scientific developments on AIDS and lessons learnt. The AIDS 2012 conference will provide an opportunity to structure dialogue, share new scientific knowledge and plan actions to end global HIV/AIDS. About 25,000 people are expected to attend the biennial conference convened by the International AIDS Society (IAS).

There are several conferences preceding the International AIDS 2012 conference. Faith communities, which are usually in the front lines in responding to HIV/AIDS, will host several of these. The faith-based conferences include the International Catholic AIDS Conference and the Interfaith AIDS Conference by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance running from July 20-21. Other AIDS conference-connected activities include the free global village space for meetings, exhibitions and affiliated independent events, which will provide opportunity for professional briefings and networking.

This is the first time the AIDS conference has been in the United States in 22 years. The first International AIDS Conference was held in Atlanta, U.S. in 1985, and then in San Francisco in 1990. The conference was supposed to be held two years later in Boston, but the global research community refused to return to the United States because of its travel ban on HIV positive people. The Obama Administration lifted the ban in 2009.

For more information, visit:

Faith-Based Investors Call on Pharmaceutical Companies to Join the Medicines Patent Pool November 30th, 2011

In honor of World AIDS Day and the United Nation’s theme, “Getting to Zero”, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) reiterate their endorsement of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) created by UNITAID, and call upon pharmaceutical companies to share their licenses for life-savings AIDS medicines.

“The ‘Getting to Zero’ theme has three main goals,” said Christina Herman of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate: “Zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths: The MPP is an effective and powerful strategy against all three. As investors in pharmaceutical companies who view access to medicines as a fundamental human right, we strongly encourage participation.”

Read the ICCR Press Release on the UNITAID Patent Pool…


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