The 24th International AIDS Conference, also referred to as AIDS 2022 is in full gear after a grandiose opening ceremony on Friday 29th July 2022 at Montreal, Canada. As revealed in the opening address by Adeeba Kamarulzaman, IAS President, this conference brings together delegates from all over the world to collectively engage at the intersection of science, policy and advocacy to drive the HIV response. She declared that after four decades of HIV response, it is clear that set targets will not be achieved without involving stakeholders at all levels of the HIV response. She further revealed in her address that HIV has always disproportionately affected the marginalized. Therefore, to make progress in the HIV response, those most affected must be able to express their views and be part of the conversation. She was however quick to add that, it was also important that all conversations be grounded in science.
She advanced that, science has been critical to the success of the HIV response by providing Anti-retroviral therapy which keeps PLHIV alive and healthy. Science has also shown that once your viral load is ‘undetectable’ you cannot transmit it to your sexual partners. She therefore called for stronger advocacy for the U=U message. She continued that, science has also given us multiple tools to end the pandemic. Including PrEP which now has options for daily pills and two-monthly injectables and urged action to accelerate this prevention tool where it is most needed.
Science, she revealed, is leading the world to a vaccine and cure but without financial investment this will not happen. She therefore called upon the global community to afford the HIV vaccine, cure initiatives and the broader HIV programmes the same level of collaboration and investment as CoVID-19. She reported that the recently released UNAIDS report indicates that the world is not on track to achieving its goals. With 1.5 million global new infections recorded last year, this is one million more than the target for global new HIV infections. She called for everyone to do what they can to re-engage and get the HIV response back on track to meet set targets.
She concluded with an announcement that the conference is designed to outline the evidence that should be followed and highlight the gaps that science has yet to fully address and to call attention to the policies and practices that should be adopted to implement the science.
The 24th International AIDS Conference, under the theme re-engage and follow the science, is currently ongoing at Montreal, Canada. It started on Friday 29th July and will end on Tuesday 2nd August, 2022. Pre-conference activities took place on 27th and 28th July 2022. Delegates from all over the world including Ghana are participating in the conference both in person and virtually.
The Ghana AIDS Commission is a supra-ministerial and multi-sectoral body established under the Chairmanship of H. E. the President of the Republic of Ghana by Act 2016, Act 938 of Parliament. The objective of the Commission is to formulate policy on the HIV and AIDS epidemic and...find out more