Philippa Moss at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam
AIDS2018 was a historic week in the global response and a hectic week for those at the conference. More than 16,000 researchers, advocates, policy makers, funders and community leaders from more than 160 countries came together in Amsterdam for AIDS 2018 – this was a key milestone on the road to a world without HIV and HIV related stigma.
Young people have the most at stake in ending this epidemic, and the presence, participation and leadership of young people was evident throughout AIDS 2018. Youth and junior investigators made up more than one-third of the submissions presented at the conference, and their work garnered attention in every conference track.
The prevention revolution was the subject of the opening the closing and throughout conference, not only at basic and clinical research, but also at studies with real-world implications for implementation and practice. Among these were studies there was a lot of discussion and support for the use of on-demand PrEP. Also on the prevention agenda was data from the a vaccine trial (APPROACH) and extended results from the PARTNER 2 study in MSM couples that added still more evidence that when it comes to HIV, U=U.
Throughout the world, grassroots community-based organisations are leading efforts to provide peer-led services to those impacted and at risk of HIV and specifically the LGBTIQ and sex worker communities. I qualified to myself that the Council is doing a sensational job and we have the evidence to demonstrate this with our M&E framework. However this did reinforced to me the importance of the partnership work with Trans, Gender Diverse and Intersex communities, we are all part of the picture and need to join together to ensure a strong and consistent response.
We are incredibly lucky in Australia, around the world it is perfectly legal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or their gender identity in one or more aspects of their life, including employment, housing, and public accommodation. Stigma and discrimination prevail across the communities and working together is the key.