World / US and Canada

Intl AIDS Conference ends

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-07-28 14:36

WASHINGTON - The 19th International AIDS Conference concluded Friday in Washington DC, with a call for greater commitments to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"It is unacceptable" that scientifically proven treatment and prevention tools aren't reaching people who need them most," Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus and new president of the International AIDS Society, told the meeting's closing session.

"All of you have created the possibility that we could have an AIDS-free generation," former US president Bill Clinton said at the closing session. "We just have to keep pushing the rocks up the hill."

Clinton, who works to provide low-cost HIV medications to foreign nations through his Clinton Foundation, said donors will continue to fund the response to the world AIDS crisis despite global financial woes and urged greater transparency by all involved.

"If we all keep producing results I believe the money will be there. And I am committed to doing whatever I can to see that it does. We do have to prove over and over again that we are making the most of the money," he said.

Speaking on the same occasion, US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said recent successes in combating the disease are welcome but shouldn't lead the world's governments to curtail their search for a cure.

"This optimism must not make us complacent," she said. "Even in difficult fiscal times, cutting back on our HIV/AIDS investments is a false economy that costs us more in the future."

"Where there is scientific opportunity, there is a moral obligation to fund it," Pelosi said. "Where there are people in need of drugs and care -- and communities in need of prevention -- we have a moral obligation to provide it. And where there is discrimination, we have a moral obligation to continue to fight it."

"HIV/AIDS is still adapting," she added, "So must we."

The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering of professionals working in the field of HIV, including people living with HIV and other leaders in the HIV response. It plays a fundamental role in shaping the global response to HIV and in keeping HIV and AIDS on the international political agenda.

The first International AIDS Conference occurred in Atlanta in 1985, and it was held in San Francisco in 1990. The conference was supposed to be held two years later in Boston, but the global research community refused to return to the United States because of its travel ban on HIV positive people. This ban was lifted by the Obama Administration in 2009.

There are as many as 34 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS and as many as 2.5 million new diagnoses each year, according to the UNAIDS.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics