19 July 2009

Highlights from Opening Session

The speakers at tonight's opening session included a number of powerful messages in their remarks. Click on read more to see selected quotes.

Update: A webcast of the opening session is available here. And photos are here.

Hoosen (Jerry) Coovadia, IAS 2009 Local Co-Chair, Chairman of Dira Sengwe and Scientific Director of the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

"HIV is the hand-maiden to tuberculosis."

Julio Montaner, IAS 2009 Chair and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, Canada

"Earlier this month, another G8 Summit came and went. HIV/AIDS was indeed the elephant in the room. In 2009 the eight most powerful economies in the world left HIV off their priority agenda. They parted with no progress report on HIV, and they even failed to renew their prior commitments to the goal of universal access to HIV, prevention, care and treatment by 2010. This is totally unacceptable. This is a tragedy."

"HAART is no longer viewed as just a cost-effective intervention that prolongs the life of a person living with HIV or AIDS. HAART is now additionally viewed as an essential tool to curb the growth of the epidemic."

South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

"We need a comprehensive approach to HIV and AIDS. This means that as we invest in treatment, we must also invest in prevention, care, and support."

"Unless we redouble our efforts to conquer this disease it will define the 21st century for sub-Saharan Africa."

Vuyiseka Dubula, General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign

"Mandela's legacy is about health, dignity and freedom."

"Health is not in recession."

"I want a guarantee that when the time comes when I need second line treatment, I will have access to it."

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, 2008 Nobel Laureate and IAS Governing Council

"There is still a very long way to go" in controlling HIV reservoirs.

"Reducing the international efforts on universal access to HAART because of the global recession will be a disaster. Governing bodies and leaders will be responsible for this disaster if they don't uphold their commitment. HIV is not in recession."

Stephen Lewis, AIDS Free World Co-Director

"No one should underestimate the power and influence of science when it decides to take a stand."

"When, as now, there's a backlash against funding for AIDS, with mindless charges against AIDS exceptionalism, you should find a way collectively to shoot down the pinched bureaucrats and publicity-seeking academics who advocate exchanging the health of some for the health of others."

"We must never allow them to play one part of the health sector against the other...HIV/AIDS, for all the horrendous human consequences, has objectively strengthened health systems."

"When the G8 won't renew its 2005 commitment to universal access...then it's time for science to speak with one powerful voice of accusation."

"An ugly homophobic culture is a threat to public health that inevitably serves to spread the virus."

"There's no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for the women who live in constant fear of rape...bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS."

1 comment:

  1. Watching the webcast of this inspirational appeal by the fabulous Stephen Lewis to the scientific community to raise up their collective voices against continued sexual violence against women and the 'political Philistines' who take offense at 'AIDS exceptionalism' gave me cause to leap up from my chair and give him loud applause! Bravo, Mr. Lewis, BRAVO!!