International Conference AIDS-2018 opened in Amsterdam
Yesterday the XXII International AIDS Conference (AIDS-2018) opened in the capital of the Netherlands. The largest event dedicated to the study, prevention, treatment of HIV, protection of the rights of people from key groups, will bring together over 15 thousand people. The slogan of the conference this year was declared "Destroy the barriers. Building bridges".
The moderator of the meeting was the Egyptian actor Omar Sharif Jr., who for the first time made a fire-out for artists representing the Muslim world, thanked all participants of the conference for courage and determination in the fight against HIV.
Speakers after him told how they were struck by the news about the discovery of HIV in them, about the first years of struggle against discrimination and stigma. By all accounts, bridges need to be built to achieve the necessary level of access to treatment and prevention. Moreover, these bridges should be built not only between the governments of the countries, but also between the authorities, business, scientists and the civil society. The key target here should be at-risk groups: drug users, children and adolescents, women living with HIV, MSM, and others.
Building bridges means a voice, an opportunity to reflect on how protection and support measures are formed, to influence the processes that contribute to it.
According to the leaders of public organizations, media persons taking part in the fight against HIV, the thesis H = H, which contributes to reducing stigma and discrimination and increasing confidence in the imminent achievement of the millennium goals, should be spread around the world. This, they say, will save thousands of lives.
Dutch trade minister Sigrid Kaag said that Amsterdam is pleased to host leading experts, scientists, activists and businessmen fighting a problem such as HIV.
The example of Holland, which considers it necessary to support an inclusive society and promote its development, should become a guidebook for the whole world struggling with AIDS. People should not be afraid of mistakes, failures in their path, they must break down barriers, fight with isolation and look for ways to implement rights.
Recalling the number of people living with HIV and having access to therapy (22 million out of 37 million PLHIV), the minister asks the question: "What to do with those who can not get treatment?" And then he answers: "Let's seek help and help people who need it. "
The main groups that need support more than others should become, in the opinion of the minister, drug users and residents of African countries who do not have access to treatment and prevention.
"We must use all opportunities - state and non-state ... Your and our political will is what is required today. The root of the problem is far from being just a biological cause, it is a matter of political nature. Political will and voice are what we need to implement our actions. "
At the end of her speech, the head of the ministry said that the Dutch government had decided to finance the pre-exposure HIV prevention program (PrEP, DKP) in high-risk groups. In addition, for these purposes, but already outside the Netherlands, will be allocated over 10 million euros.
President of the International AIDS Society Linda-Gale Becker told the audience about the preparation of the conference and urged the participants of the world's largest event dedicated to the fight against HIV to "wake up."
As she said, it is necessary to give chance to the young generation having enough energy, independently to solve the problems. A record number of scientists, representatives of the civil society, human rights activists, activists who gathered in Amsterdam these days should share their experience and knowledge with young people. The thesis "Destroying barriers and building bridges" here should be understood as the union of generations in a common struggle for all.
Many words were said about the need to put an end to discrimination against women and adolescents: the political and civil rights of these groups must be defended everywhere. It is unacceptable for inequality to exist in the world.
Speaking for her, AHF vice-president Peter Rice supported the words of previous speakers and noted that an integrated, integrated policy should be conducted in relation to HIV elimination in the world. Particular attention should be paid to the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where the number of new HIV cases continues to grow. Civil societies should certainly be involved in this work.
All this, he said, can be achieved by combining efforts and ceasing to condemn people for their shortcomings. Everyone has the right to health. "We need a vaccine against intolerance no less than a vaccine against HIV," Rice said.
The Countess of Oran-Nassau Mabel, who also spoke to the marchers earlier on Monday, noted that only the values of freedom, pragmatism and openness will help us achieve a world without HIV.
"If we do not take decisive action now, we will lose a whole generation," says Princess Mabel.
In her opinion, among the priority tasks should be the development of a multisectoral approach to the problem: "We need to work better, smarter. We need to look at the programs in an integrated, integrated way. "
Closer to the end of the opening ceremony, the singer Conchita Wurst, who recently announced in the press that she had HIV, appeared before the conference, gathered in the hall. She spoke about the problems of discrimination and stigma that even famous people can not avoid. But, she believes, the main tool in the fight against it should be the unity and acceptance of its status, a personal victory over itself:
"I am one person, but I am one of many. And I do not see myself just as a person with HIV-positive status, it's just a part of me. Only thanks to this look I felt stronger than ever before. "
"We want," Conchita noted, "that all of this talked about - those studies, what is being done in the direction of developing tools for counteracting and treating HIV. In addition, I would like to understand why many of those who need can not get the treatment that I have. "
"We can and must spread the known scientific facts so that people stop being afraid of the virus. We need to talk about HIV as an ordinary disease. "