PAHO director calls for a quick re-think to HIV/AIDS epidemic

The Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Dr Carissa F Etienne, says scientific innovation has made unprecedented progress against HIV / AIDS, but urged countries to rethink the response to end the epidemic.

“Science has guided innovation towards unprecedented progress in the response to an infectious disease that, until recently, represented a threat to the lives of many people,” said the Dominican-born Dr Etienne, who is also the Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The world is not on track to achieve the goal of eliminating AIDS as a threat to public health by 2030. The road to ending AIDS runs through providing access and universal health coverage,” she told delegates to the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019).

IAS 2019 is taking place in the Americas region for the fourth time since it began in Buenos Aires in 2001. It brings together more than 6,000 scientists, clinicians, public health experts and community leaders from around the world to examine the latest research developments in HIV and explore how to realistically implement and implement that knowledge to address the epidemic.

The conference, organised by the International AIDS Society, ends on Wednesday and Dr Etienne acknowledged that the preparation of Implementation of sound approaches based on public health, human rights and evidence have managed to reverse the course of the epidemic in many countries.

“Based on our past successes, it’s time to reconsider our response to make sure we reach our HIV goals,” she said, noting that “the road to ending AIDS runs through providing access and universal health coverage.”

According to Dr Etienne, the sustainable development agenda and the revitalised global commitment to universal health coverage are an opportunity for the sustainability and financing of the HIV response as well as for the integration and expansion of the prevention, testing and treatment of the infection with other health services.