20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014)


AIDS 2014: Brent Allan on Australia's HIV Response (Video)

August 14, 2014

IFARA spoke with Brent Allan, the executive officer of Living Positive Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, about Australia's approach to HIV and the need for passionate idealists to continue working on HIV. Allan called Australia's response to HIV "unique in the world," because it is based on medical facts rather than moral concepts. This is so, he explained, because both Australia's minister of health and its minister of health in opposition in the early 1980s -- when HIV was discovered -- were medical doctors who focused on scientific issues, rather than ideological preconceptions about the populations most affected by the virus.

As a result of that focus on people instead of morality, risk reduction and risk understanding -- knowing of the relative risk of various prevention methods, such as serosorting and treatment as prevention -- are being heavily promoted, Allan said. While PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) "isn't really available here yet," he continued, there is a strong belief that the decision on whether to take antiretrovirals -- be it for prevention or for treatment -- is up to each individual, but that such a choice must be well-informed. To that end, community leaders must digest the science being presented at conferences such as AIDS 2014 (the 20th International AIDS Conference) and share that information in a way that lay persons can understand.

Watch the video to learn more:

The video above has been posted on with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.

Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.

Copyright © 2014 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 20th International AIDS Conference.

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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.


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