Good HIV/AIDS news
July 19, 2012 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Just as the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference is set to convene in Washington DC (the first IAC in the United States since 1987, when a travel ban was instituted and not lifted until 2009), President Obama has announced that his administration has invested $80 million in new grants for HIV/AIDS services, essentially eliminating the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists, which currently hold the names of 2,030 Americans waiting for access to HIV-related health care.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (11 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Just heard about Truvada this week, I'm sure it is old news to many people. And while there seems to be some serious downsides, and it's stupid expensive, just the fact that we are starting to enter the era of AIDS prevention drugs is a small glimmer of hope. Long way to go to be sure, but perhaps things will get better.
posted by edgeways at 2:30 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

the fact that we are starting to enter the era of AIDS prevention drugs is a small glimmer of hope. Long way to go to be sure, but perhaps things will get better.

The people working on HIV/AIDS solutions are actually finally starting to let themselves talk about and investigate possible cures for the disease, too. NPR told me about it as part of a long drive's radio listening last night.
posted by hippybear at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2012

I'm sure programs like this will continue under and Romney administration.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:56 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yep, the new treatments are definitely good news. I wouldn't want to take Truvada if I didn't have to (it's been around for those already infected for a while - my partner takes it) and I wouldn't want to go through the Berlin Patient solution unless other options weren't working. But they both seem like really great news. I wouldn't have wanted to take AZT back in the 80s either, but I'm sure glad it lead to the cocktails that exist today.

As for the ADAP waiting lists (and on preview, a Romney administration's future), I sure hope there are no odd hangups with getting the money Obama approved today through to the people who need it as there are many states among those that still have the lists
(Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia) that have also been anti-health care reform and anti-taking any more federal money.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hello from Washington, DC. Small correction: the last International AIDS Conference held in the US was in San Francisco in 1990.

As with every AIDS conference, there's a huge amount of media coverage of HIV generated by the conference and associated activities, so there will be a lot more to come in the next week.

Here, the activism has already started. And if you're in the DC area and want to do something, come join me in the We Can End AIDS mobilization on Tuesday!
posted by gingerbeer at 3:03 PM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

If anyone wants to watch any of the sessions, my work will be hosting both live and archived webcasts of many (though not all) of the conference sessions. Please note that if you want to watch the opening plenary on Sunday, it will be webcast live, and if the live webcast fails, it's probably my fault because I'm the one who's responsible for posting stuff on Sunday.
posted by rtha at 3:15 PM on July 19, 2012 [6 favorites]

There was a paper published and announced this week in Nature Chemistry that reports success in flushing out latent HIV, which can be difficult at best to get rid of. The virus can hang around in cells, and a trigger event (e.g., missing a dose of anti-retroviral therapy) can re-activate it. (You can read an overview here.

There has been good news this week, and I hope more to come at the conference. The biggest problem I (and others who know more than me) can see is: are we willing (and able) to come up with the research funding to end this?

(NB: I was very active with ACT UP NY 1988-1992, and am now working on my Ph.D. in microbiology/immunology.)
posted by ltracey at 6:27 PM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

It appears to be streaming without any trouble. Whew.
posted by rtha at 4:06 PM on July 22, 2012

More activism as drug users and sex workers protest US travel policies which prevent those categories attending the conference.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:09 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's a video about the section of the march that I worked on and the rest of the action.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:33 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Closing Session archive video is up. I've hardly had time all week to watch anything we've posted, but I watched most of this today. The incoming president of the IAS gave a KICKASS speech, and the Other Clinton talked, too. And the host for the next conference, in Melbourne, made a very pointy point of letting everyone know that non-Australian drug users and sex workers will be welcome to attend.
posted by rtha at 4:55 PM on July 27, 2012

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