Friday 1 December is World AIDS Day and to mark the pivotal impact communities have had in shaping the HIV response, this year’s theme is ‘Let communities lead’.
World AIDS Day reflects on progress made to date, raises awareness about the challenges that remain to achieve the goal of ending AIDS by 2030 and mobilises all stakeholders to jointly redouble efforts to ensure the success of the HIV response.
Available to comment:
- Current HIV treatments
- Ageing with HIV
- HIV and stigma
The following can be attributed to Professor Hoy:
“Current treatment for HIV has enabled people with HIV to live near normal life expectancy. However, they experience excess co-morbidities (heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, cancers) because of chronic inflammation associated with immune responses helping to control HIV. Ageing with HIV should be celebrated but also requires more support from healthcare providers.
“Antiretroviral treatment allows people with HIV to achieve extremely low levels of virus in their blood – called ‘undetectable’ HIV, and multiple large global studies have shown it is not possible to transmit HIV to others at these low levels. So, treatment of HIV is one of the pillars of attaining virtual elimination of new HIV infections by 2030. U=U – Undetectable = untransmittable
“Despite these great results, people with HIV still experience significant stigma – in the community, and in healthcare settings. Community-led responses are vital in building resilience in people with HIV, restoring good quality of life and supporting people with HIV to navigate safe pathways to good health.”
Associate Professor James McMahon, Head of Clinical Research Unit, Department of Infectious Diseases, The Alfred, Associate Professor, Central Clinical School, Monash University,
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Read more of Associate Professor McMahon’s commentary at Monash Lens
- HIV and AIDS
- His team’s research towards a HIV cure
- The need for access to current treatments
The following can be attributed to Associate Professor McMahon:
“Amazing progress has been made in the HIV response, but gaps remain. We need to maximise diagnosis in high risk populations, providing prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) and access to testing for high risk and hard to reach populations.
“We continue to work on new treatment options, including long acting antiretroviral therapy (ART). We also need to advocate for access to free ART for all Australians with HIV to maximise treatment uptake and adherence to treatment.”
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