20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014)


AIDS 2014: Mitchell Warren on the Implementation of the WHO Guidelines on HIV (Video)

September 5, 2014

IFARA spoke with Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC - Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, about the new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and their implementation. Warren argued that while scientific advances were wonderful, what really counted was how these insights would be implemented locally in actual populations. He cited the example of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for men who have sex with men (MSM) that is recommended by the new WHO guidelines. In Uganda it is illegal to be gay or to work with gay people, so how can PrEP be implemented there?

Another barrier to replicating successful policies is the lack of recent data, he argued. Companies have quarterly data about which of their approaches work and can correct their course every three months or so. By contrast, much science being reported now relies on data from two years ago, allowing for course corrections only after a long delay, he said.

In Warren's view, three things are necessary to end the HIV epidemic by 2030: 1. a target, 2. guidelines and policies that support that target, and 3. the resources and environment in which to implement these guidelines. We have 1. (i.e., end the epidemic) and 2. (i.e., the WHO guidelines), but without sufficient resources and an implementation plan, the target will not be achieved, he said. Warren asked, "Do we have the collective ability, the wisdom and the political will to translate the guidelines into practice?"

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.

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