Opening session of the 2012 International AIDS Conference. Photo by: © Deborah W. Campos / IAS

The much-anticipated 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., kicked off Sunday (July 22). Here are some of the side events, new public-private partnerships and calls to action launched on and prior to the event.

  • The Collaboration for HIV/AIDS Immunological Therapy was launched ahead of the conference. This new public-private partnership aims to develop immunological therapeutic interventions to achieve a “functional HIV cure.”

  • On day one of the conference, a media panel discussed journalists’ contribution to the HIV and AIDS fight as well as the challenges they face in light of censorship and readers’ disinterest. Paul Delay, meanwhile, identified some of the challenges in getting the message across to journalists who come from different countries and who have varied levels of knowledge on the issue.

  • Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health discussed the important advances and challenges concerning AIDS research to date.

  • satellite session discussed the link between HIV and chronic noncommunicable diseases. Participants explored the idea of remodeling the current health care system to integrate universal health coverage for chronic NCDs.

  • symposium highlighted various government policies such as criminalization of sex work that make it difficult for sex workers to have access to HIV prevention and treatment. Sex workers rights groups recommend policy reforms that will help improve HIV prevention and treatment among sex workers.

  • U.S. Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced four new public-private partnerships against HIV and AIDS. These are: the Common Patient Assistance ProgramApplication, UCARE4LIFE, Pharmacy Medication Therapy Management and Online Physician Training Programs.

  • More than 20 CEOs signed a pledge opposing travel restrictions on people with HIV. Among those who signed are Levi Strauss & Co.’s Chip Bergh, The Coca-Cola Company’s Muhtar Kent and Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen’s Vestergaard Frandsen.

  • “The end of AIDS is not free,” UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe said at the conference’s opening session, The Washington Post reports.

  • Former U.S. President George Bush highlighted the idea of extending gains made on HIV and AIDS to other diseases, such as cervical cancer. “It is heart-wrenching to save a woman from AIDS, only to watch her die from cervical cancer,” he said in this opinion piece for The Washington Post.

The conference will run until July 27.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.