The AIDS 2022 conference is over and all 9.000 participants have returned home with a big gain in knowledge and finally again: personal exchange. The most important as we believe during this conference was re-connecting with people leading the fight against the HIV epidemic. After two years of covid, no personal meetings, decrease in funding it is our goal to unite the HIV community and bring us all back on track. With joint forces and a loud voice we can make sure that scientific advances translate into programs and barriers like access and stigma still present today get tackled at the same time.
Hundreds of Sessions
The program was packed with talks and presentations. Some of the most relevant findings to us were the news about long injectables. First studies suggest, that long injectable PrEP (a medication, that can prevent groups at risk from getting HIV) which is applied with a 3-monthly injection can lower the risk of getting HIV by about 80% compared to current PrEP ("one pill per day"). Some are even working on a 1-year injection. This will be a huge advancement for the adherence and ease the access.
Interesting to us were more over the talks raising topics around social and behavioural science. There is a gap between the advancements made in medical science and the development in peoples lives actually affected. Only because a medication is technically available, does not mean it will actually be taken by those who need it. Barriers hindering them are funding, stigma and awareness - amongst others. So we call the global HIV community to look at the problem more broadly and also taking into account social environments instead of just „clean lab situations“.
As Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of UNAIDS knows: "We are in danger. The world needs to do more in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Thats why I support the #updateHIV campaign. I agree, the world needs an update to get back on track."
We have to update the approach on fighting HIV in order to be successful. That’s why we previewed our updateHIV.com campaign and upcoming report at AIDS2022 and are overwhelmed with the positive feedback and unification behind our message by many of the attendees of the conference.