Dispatch from the 22nd International AIDS Conference - Amsterdam

Here are some pics of the 22nd International Conference on AIDS - more than 18,000 people from 130 countries attended.

  Amsterdam trams said - "AIDS Yearly Deaths: 1 million - Amsterdam population: 900,000. Keepthe   PromiseOnAIDS.org   ” The Dutch people are very welcoming...!!!

Amsterdam trams said - "AIDS Yearly Deaths: 1 million - Amsterdam population: 900,000. KeepthePromiseOnAIDS.org” The Dutch people are very welcoming...!!!

  Message on yellow shirt. Michael Lecker surveys the crowd far left.

Message on yellow shirt. Michael Lecker surveys the crowd far left.

  Demonstration: Truvada is generic in much of the world. Still out of reach for many in the US.

Demonstration: Truvada is generic in much of the world. Still out of reach for many in the US.

  From the exhibit hall.

From the exhibit hall.

  Message about Harm Reduction.

Message about Harm Reduction.

  Confronting stigma was a big part of this conference.

Confronting stigma was a big part of this conference.

  PEPFAR was there: the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - a global initiative started by Pres George W Bush. Since 2003, PEPFAR has invested $70 billion in AIDS relief to developing countries.    https://www.pepfar.gov

PEPFAR was there: the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - a global initiative started by Pres George W Bush. Since 2003, PEPFAR has invested $70 billion in AIDS relief to developing countries. https://www.pepfar.gov

  Demonstration: some thought the 2020 conference should not be held in San Francisco because the Trump administration is not HIV-friendly.

Demonstration: some thought the 2020 conference should not be held in San Francisco because the Trump administration is not HIV-friendly.

  Old fashioned sit in for better global drug access.

Old fashioned sit in for better global drug access.

  Sign at a transit stop reflects a global perspective.

Sign at a transit stop reflects a global perspective.

  Entrance to the conference.

Entrance to the conference.

  U=U Symposium. Dr. Daskalakis speaks! (3rd from left)

U=U Symposium. Dr. Daskalakis speaks! (3rd from left)

The Duke of Sussex and Sir Elton John Take the Stage

Press conference announces MedStar - a new global health initiative. See the press release below: 

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MenStar Coalition Announced: Reaching Men to End the Epidemic  

Amsterdam. Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Both the Duke of Sussex and Sir Elton John took the stage this morning to launch MenStar. Menstar is a global initiative that focuses attention on men’s health and HIV prevention and treatment. The global epidemic, in contrast to the US epidemic, is largely heterosexual.  

MenStar will expand the diagnoses and treatment of HIV infections in men – keys to breaking the cycle of HIV transmission to women and children, and ultimately ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. 

“We need an approach that reaches men where they are,” according to the Duke of Sussex.

MenStar leverages the HIV service delivery capacities of the public sector with the consumer-oriented marketing expertise of the private sector. The idea is to reach men with HIV testing and treatment.  

One of the first initiatives under MenStar will be a new HIV self-testing campaign aimed at young men in Kenya. The coalition will also support specific male-friendly strategies for HIV service delivery, such as dedicated men's corners at existing health clinics, expanded clinic hours, and deeper community engagement to better reach men. 

With a contribution of over $800 million to reach men in the next year, the United States’ PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief initiated by President George W Bush), plans to reach an additional 1 million men with HIV treatment. The goal for over 90% of men in this age group to be virally suppressed to effectively interrupt HIV transmission. 

Partners are the Elton John Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund (CIFF), and Unitaid, an innovative global organization that deals with a variety of public health problems. https://unitaid.org/#en 

In total, the partners have pledged $1.2 billion to get the initiative started. 

 

My thoughts: 

Celebrities have a great platform to bring people together for the greater good.  

The rest of us will finish the job. 

Trillium does home / do-it-yourself HIV / STI testing – we need to do more. 

If we want to end HIV, we need to think broadly – the old rules got us this far – innovation will take us to the finish line. 

And, yes – I was in the back of the room. The pics are my own.  

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STI 2018: Innovations - Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) 

Presenters at STI 2018 discussed how innovative technologies, including self‐ and point‐of‐care HIV and STI testing are the way forward. We measure up at Trillium and do some of these things and need to expand others moving forward. 

  22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) Amsterdam, Netherlands Copyright: Marcus Rose/IAS

22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) Amsterdam, Netherlands Copyright: Marcus Rose/IAS


The session included community, clinical, and public health leaders to address modern era sexual health promotion programs that identify and treat STIs early, interrupt STI transmission and encourage linkage to care, all while minimizing stigma and ensuring human rights. 

New service delivery models include: 

• A “syndromic” style of care: if a patient has symptoms or has a known STI exposure = collect specimens and “Treat On the Spot!!” 

• Express clinics/ kiosks using computer interfaces  

• Home sample collection (e.g., self-swabs) 

• Rapid laboratory testing technologies 

• Texting to deliver test results quickly to more effectively deliver clinical services that overcome privacy barriers. 

• Patient portals in electronic health records 

• Tele-medicine 

Other forward‐looking approaches were the use of the Internet for partner notification, and the role of sexual health apps to engage high risk individuals, particularly youth, in accessing screening and preventive services.  

See https://sti.bmj.com/content/90/3/195

 

Amsterdam. Saturday, July 21, 2018. 

The conference will open Sunday, July 22. We expect 15,000 or more people from 110 countries. 

Two hot HIV Prevention topics will be PrEP and “U=U” (Undetectable = Untransmittable). The Sunday all day session covers U=U.

The U=U logo is simple and now has universal meaning..!!

Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) Key Points:

• Effective HIV treatment is another form of HIV prevention and helps End the HIV Epidemic 

• People with HIV on antiretroviral drugs and undetectable viral loads do not transmit HIV sexually to others. 

• This is a major advance for the patient and for public health.  

• U=U can motivate treatment adherence and it reduced stigma. 

• This idea has been around since at least 2010, but since the easy-to-grasp U=U slogan has been established, the concept will be a major talking point at this year’s conference. 

Prevention Access is a US Campaign that started U=U: 

https://www.preventionaccess.org/so/aMGOt1kz?cid=1bb780c8-fa8a-4908-b208-b82d73a650a9#/main