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Michel Sidibé on the Global HIV Epidemic (Video)

August 27, 2015

Fred Schaich of IFARA spoke with UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé about the current status of the global HIV epidemic. Sidibé pronounced Vancouver the place "where the era of treatment began some 20 years back." In 1996, the 11th International AIDS Conference in that city emphasized the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which has since become the standard of care for HIV.

Sidibé listed some of the subsequent successes: UNAIDS' goal of having 15 million people on treatment by 2015 was achieved early; countries thought not to be susceptible to treatment, such as Rwanda, have achieved much higher rates of viral suppression in those infected with HIV than some developed countries (85% in Rwanda, 30% in the U.S.); and treatment has been reduced to one pill a day, from the 18 daily pills needed a few years back.

According to Sidibé, the biggest challenge remains reaching people who have been excluded from the mainstream because of their sexual orientation or use of drugs, and because of criminalization and stigmatization. Testing also needs to become "friendlier" in order to entice more people to be tested. However, "making treatment available is key" to stopping the epidemic, he said. This is especially true because early treatment has been shown to prevent transmission of the virus.

Watch the video to learn more:

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

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.

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.

Copyright © 2015 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.

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