Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



EPIDEMICS
AIDS summit opens with warnings that progress at risk
By Kristen VAN SCHIE
Durban, South Africa (AFP) July 18, 2016


More than 18,000 scientists, campaigners and donors opened a major AIDS conference in South Africa on Monday, issuing stark warnings that recent gains in the fight against the disease were under threat.

The five-day International AIDS Conference returns to Africa 16 years after Nelson Mandela galvanised the world to take up the fight against AIDS, describing it as "one of the greatest threats humankind has faced".

Again hosted by the coastal city of Durban, the conference is seen as the key gathering of experts tackling a pandemic that has claimed more than 30 million lives in 35 years.

Among those attending the 21st biennial conference are UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, activists including singer Elton John and actress Charlize Theron, and Britain's Prince Harry.

In a joyful opening ceremony that celebrated the work of researchers and scientists and included a video message of support from Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, International AIDS Society president Chris Beyrer warned that it was too soon to declare victory over HIV.

"Today our movement is threatened by complacency, by declining funding and by the continued refusal of too many governments to address the humnan rights and social justice issues that drive HIV in marginalised communties," he said.

"We're here because of the urgency of the undone work, because we are still counting annual deaths from Aids in the millions."

Antiretroviral drugs have allowed many sufferers to survive, but there are some 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Of these, only 17 million are receiving treatment.

"We have dispelled the darkness of the past, but we cannot yet stand tall in triumph because there's a serious downside to this story," said conference co-chair Olive Shisana.

- 'Very painful moment' -

With no cure for the virus in sight, patients today still face lifelong reliance on the expensive antiretroviral drugs which cause side effects.

Delegates will discuss the latest scientific research amid frustration that there is still no vaccine for the stealthy virus.

"You have made incredible progress in the HIV battle in just one generation -- you will succeed," Tutu said in a video message to the gathered delegates.

"Please, please don't stop now."

In a rousing speech that elicited roars of applause from the crowd, Charlize Theron decried the social inequalities driving the epidemic.

"AIDS does not discriminate on its own," said the actress, who founded an AIDS charity working with teenagers in South Africa, her home country.

"It has no biological preference for black bodies, women's bodies, gay bodies, the youth or the poor."

"It doesn't single out the vulnerable, oppressed or abused. We single out the vulnerable, oppressed and abused."

Before 2000, only wealthier countries had hosted the AIDS meeting.

That changed when South Africa became the first developing country -- and the first with an epidemic of HIV in its population -- to take the helm.

The conference was a contentious affair, but its emotional impact transformed the AIDS campaign.

Campaigners accused drugs companies of ignoring HIV patients in poor economies.

And South African activists angrily criticised then-president Thabo Mbeki, who insisted the disease was caused by poverty, not by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Mbeki denied millions access to antiretroviral drugs, and a Harvard study later concluded his policies were responsible for 300,000 avoidable deaths in South Africa.

"It was a very painful moment in the world," Beyrer told AFP, recalling the 2000 event.

The approach changed under subsequent leaders, and South Africa now has the world's largest treatment programme.

"When the global AIDS community last met (in Durban) in 2000, only a few thousand Africans were receiving antiretroviral drugs," billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said in a speech on the eve of the meeting.

"Today, more than 12 million Africans are on treatment -- more than a quarter of them living here in South Africa."

But other statistics are less encouraging.

In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 2,000 young people under the age of 24 are newly infected every single day, and almost half of the people living with HIV are undiagnosed.

"If we fail to act, all the hard-earned gains made in HIV in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 15 years could be reversed," Gates warned.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
EPIDEMICS
Quest to end AIDS epidemic at risk: UN
Geneva (AFP) July 12, 2016
Efforts to end the global AIDS pandemic by 2030 are lagging, the UN warned Tuesday, decrying rising numbers of new HIV infections among adults in many regions, with Russia especially hard-hit. In a new report, UNAIDS cautioned that while new HIV infections had fallen dramatically in the past two decades, especially among children, the trend among adults has stalled and even risen in a number ... read more


EPIDEMICS
SpaceX to launch key 'parking spot' to space station

Russia to Continue Rocket Engine Supplies to US Under Existing Contracts

India launches 20 satellites in single mission

LSU Chemistry Experiment Aboard Historic Suborbital Space Flight

EPIDEMICS
Mars Canyons Study Adds Clues about Possible Water

Curiosity Mars Rover Enters Precautionary Safe Mode

Mars Canyons Study Adds Clues about Possible Water

Scientists' Innovation Began With 'Wanting to Understand Why'

EPIDEMICS
Russia to spend $60M in 2016-2018 to fund space voyages to Moon, Mars

Russian Moon Base to Hold Up to 12 People

US may approve private venture moon mission: report

Fifty Years of Moon Dust

EPIDEMICS
New Horizons Receives Mission Extension to the Kuiper Belt

Alex Parker Discovers Moon Over Makemake in the Kuiper Belt

Hubble locates new dark spot on Neptune

Pluto's Subsurface Ocean Likely Exists Today

EPIDEMICS
Lush Venus? Searing Earth? It could have happened

Graduate researchers lead exoplanet discoveries

Teenagers at Keele University Discover Possible New Exoplanet

A surprising planet with three suns

EPIDEMICS
China announces success in technology to refuel satellites in orbit

Advanced Full Range Engine program envisions hybrid propulsion system paving

NASA tests deep space rocket booster ahead of 2018 mission

ISRO tells aerospace industry to enhance capacity to meet demands

EPIDEMICS
Dutch Radio Antenna to Depart for Moon on Chinese Mission

Chinese Space Garbageman is not a Weapon

China to launch its largest carrier rocket later this year

China committed to peaceful use of outer space

EPIDEMICS
Rosetta Finale Set for 30 September

Elite Team to Consider New Approaches to Asteroid Danger

Chaotic Orbit of Comet Halley Explained

Recent Hydrothermal Activity May Explain Ceres' Brightest Area




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement