HIV & AIDS

The 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA) opened today, December 5, 2011, at the newly refurbished Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a colorful and lively music and dance production by the Ethiopian National Theatre and Traditional Music Group and the Addis Ababa Youth & Children’s Theatre.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). Credit: UNAIDS/J.Ose.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé gave an impassioned welcome speech remembering the last 30 years of AIDS and the 24 million African lives lost to the epidemic. He called for solidarity and compassion for the 34 million people currently living with HIV.

A Poem to HIV & AIDS: "Thou hydra-headed restless monster | Killer of millions of my kind | Sower of discord in my nation | I shall fly in thy face until zero"

This year is not only MSH’s 40th anniversary; it is also 30 years since the first reported cases of HIV. Thirty years ago HIV was considered a new, always-fatal disease. ...Today 6.6 million people—nearly half of those in need—will take life-saving antiretrovirals.

Over 2,300 delegates, many colorfully dressed, gathered in Dakar, Senegal  at the jam-packed amphitheatre and two exterior tents of Le Meridien President for the start of this week’s 2nd International Family Planning Conference, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Monica Kerrigan, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said that one third of Africans live in francophone Africa, and yet it has been the most neglected area for family planning services. She praised Senegal for hosting the first family planning conference in French-speaking Africa and urged Senegal to use this opportunity to act boldly and make family planning an urgent priority.

I am fortunate. I know this from years of experience of reporting about people who have poor or no access to quality health care, from rural areas of West Virginia to Afghanistan to Zambia. But today I feel this deeply, in large part because of an email that I just received.

Leafing through Malawi’s Nation newspaper, the headline, 'wild men in society escalating rape cases' jumps off the page. I pause and stare at the accompanying photo and caption.

Over 500 people have gathered Antalya, Turkey, today for the 2011 International Conference for Improving Use of Medicines, also known as ICIUM 2011.

Only one in twenty cancer patients in Africa receives needed chemotherapy. This is unacceptable. Much needs to be done, much can be done, and much must be done to close the cancer divide.

At age 14, Miriam turned to commercial sex work to provide for her family. Read Miriam's story: sex worker, peer educator, and founder of a community-based organization in Guyana.

We know how to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. But without intervention nearly 40 percent of mothers with HIV/AIDS in developing countries will transmit the virus to their newborns.

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