Live blogging the Opening Plenary (#aids2010)

We’re having some technical difficulties with Word Press this morning. We’re going to move to our twitter feed. Please follow us there for the remainder of the plenary and thanks for following!
9.51 — Vuyiseka Dubula from Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa is now speaking on Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention. ‘ARVs have saved many lives, including mine. Only covering 50% of the need’.

9.43 — Apologies for the delay; slight technical issue that needed sorting. Jean-Marc Delizee of Belgium/EU Commission is now speaking on the empowerment of women to say no to unsafe sex, and addressing the need for tailor-made approaches for key populations.

9.32 — I’d like to live to see all the grandchildren in the world to live their own dreams and that they don’t die before their time. This means replenishing The Global Fund. It means a disciplined, honest response to HIV which goes to those it was intended for.

9.30 — Those who live in resource-limited settings deserve the same rights and opportunities as those of us from rich countries enjoy. Indeed…

9.29 — We can achieve universal access to treatment for all, but we have to do better.

9.26 — We must reach out to those who are not here and those who are unconnected to the HIV response to get them to make small donations. We haven’t succeeded in this, and we must do a better job.

9.23 — We all have to examine our own organisations in terms of how we can lower our overhead expenditures, particularly in this economic climate.

9.19 — We should be focusing on task shifting from physicians to nurses, nurses to community health workers, wherever possible.

9.18 — Too much waste on many things in the industry — plane tickets, reports that are not read/distributed / too many expensive meetings without much impact at the local level. Money should be going into the local communities.

9.16 — Too many places were drug users do not have access to important treatment and/or prevention messages based on evidence because of political obstacles or lack of leadership within specific countries.

9.13 — We have to remind ourselves that ‘more of the same’ is not cutting it, and not good enough. We’re not doing enough ourselves to improve treatment, better integration of HIV/TB co-infection, better combinations of drugs, better prevention efforts, better scale-up.

9.12 — Last week, Dr. Goosby announced that US funds can now be used to support needle syringe programmes! HOORAY!!!!

9.11 — Suggests that Dr. Eric Goosby should get a Purple Heart for having the guts to show up at the Conference. ‘This man is your friend’.

9.09 — Argues that what we as activists need to do is elect more Democrats to The Congress in order to increase US funding for AIDS in the developing world. (That’s a great sentiment. But, there are many individuals at this conference and those who are affected most by those budgetary constraints and cuts to AIDS funding from the US who don’t have the right or luxury to vote in the US.)

9.07 — He’s attempting to support President Obama in the tough decisions he’s had to make, and arguing that ‘he is a man who keeps his commitments’.

9.05 — He’s going to address the Pepfar reshuffle. Makes the joke that the benefit of no longer being president is that he can say what he wants, although because he isn’t president no one cares anymore. 🙂

9.04 — We have to demonstrate that we can do our jobs faster, cheaper and better to justify the expenses.

9.03 — Treatment in the US costs US$10.000 / person / year. (!!!!)

9.02 — There is a choice to make. If you want to strengthen healthcare systems, you must have skilled healthcare workers, specifically individuals who can do good work at a lower cost.

8.59 — ‘The “choice” between treatment and prevention is not a real choice’. We must invest in both!

8.57 — We must replenish The Global Fund! (Yes, we do, Bill!)

8.56 — We cannot get to the end of the epidemic without spending more money and re-examining how we spend it.

8.55 — Props to social science research for understanding how and which programmes work beyond the mere science. Indeed, collaborative studies can tell us much about the cultural appropriateness of responses, and how they may be adapted to other contexts.

8.53 — Props to Dr. Paul Farmer, a fellow medical anthropologist, who has done far too much to mention here for assisting those in Haiti to gain access to healthcare through his organisation, Partners In Health.

8.52 — Partnerships that have been formed over the last 10 years are incredibly important in the responses, and how agencies such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Global Fund provides 50% of funding.

8.51 — Giving props to Pfizer for reducing the price for an ARV that is the only one that can be taken for those who are co-infected with HIV/TB.

8.49 — Now, he’s switching to the state of the epidemic. Thrilled that we are closing the gap in access to treatment that existed between adults and children.

8.46 — Massive good — airline online bookers have placed a box that you click to make a contribution when making online bookings. There are small donations (user-friendly option). Bill is urging us to check these boxes. The point is to raise large amounts of money from small donations.

8.45 — Referring to the theme of the conference, ‘Rights Here, Right Now!’, evidence of progress made in the last few years is not an excuse to right to walk away from that right. Its motivation to run towards it’.

8.43 — ‘Here, there’s a lot of action to go with talk’. Thanking those of us who work in the industry. Given the challenges facing the AIDS movement (programme funding), he recognises that there is a lot to be done.

8.42 — It’s a bit like reading his book. He is thanking many, many individuals from his Foundation, as well as … well, everyone.

8.41 — He looks a little awed.

8.40 — ‘The world wouldn’t be the same without Mr. Clinton’s 30+ years of commitment’. Indeed!

8.40 — With President Bush, helped raise millions for victims of Hurricane Katrina and has been instrumental in relief in Haiti after the devastating earthquake. His commitment to Haiti has continued from his presidency to present-day.

8.37 — A glowing introduction for President Clinton. Fantastic president, and the creator of a successful NGO that has allowed 2 million people to go on ARVs. The Clinton Foundation has made 1077 commitments valued at $57 billion!

8.36 — Things are a running a few minutes late. Bill must be stuck in traffic. 🙂

Good morning!

After yesterday evenings exciting Opening Ceremony, delayed a bit by the Die-In to draw attention to funding cuts which would leave millions no longer able to access live-saving anti-retroviral treatment, we’re ready for an inspiring morning plenary session at the International AIDS Conference.

Speakers include former US President Bill Clinton, Vuyiseka Dubala of the Treatment Action Campaign, and Anya Sarang from the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice. Anya is a harm reduction pioneer from the Russian Federation and an old friend of ours from the early days of outreach work in Moscow.

Here we go!!!!


0 Responses to “Live blogging the Opening Plenary (#aids2010)”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

July 2010
« Jun    

The My Health Connections Bloggers

Recent tweets


%d bloggers like this: