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Delegates Hear Warnings Of Complacency, Lack Of Funding At AIDS 2018 Opening; Protesters Walk Out During Sidibé Speech

Agence France-Presse: High risk of ‘losing control’ of AIDS epidemic: experts
“The AIDS epidemic risks resurging and spiraling out of control unless billions of extra dollars are pumped into prevention and treatment, experts warned Sunday on the eve of a major world conference. An alarming rate of new infections, coupled with an exploding population of young people in hard-hit countries, meant the world could be steering for ‘a crisis of epic proportions,’ said Mark Dybul, an American AIDS researcher and diplomat…” (Le Roux, 7/22).

IOL: #AIDS2018: Delegates walk out in protest as UNAIDS boss opens conference
“Hundreds of delegates walked out of the opening of the International AIDS Conference on Monday night in protest when UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé took the stage. Before the walkout, a group of African women read out a statement in protest against Sidibé’s [h]andling of a sexual assault case against his former deputy, Luiz Loures. The women read out a statement calling for Sidibé to step down for what they say was a cover-up then walked out, followed by a large number of delegates…” (Cullinan, 7/24).

U.S. News & World Report: AIDS Faces New Threat: Complacency
“…[UNAIDS] now faces a precarious situation: Countries around the world have all benefited from an unprecedented international effort to stabilize the spread of HIV and AIDS, treat those who are infected, and prevent future instances. Those efforts, beginning in the early 1990s, yielded historic success and since 2006 have accounted for a steady drop in global AIDS-related deaths as an increasing number of people receive services and many can now live with HIV. Yet those achievements have also led to an air of complacency, scientists and public health leaders say, made worse by some Western countries’ controlling the domestic spread of HIV and AIDS…” (Shinkman, 7/23).

Xinhua News: AIDS 2018 opens in Amsterdam with focus on putting HIV response back on track
“…The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering on HIV and AIDS in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, its 22nd edition gathered more than 15,000 participants under the theme ‘Breaking Barriers Building Bridges.’ The five-day event will feature the latest science on innovations in treatment, cure and prevention and the new on-the-ground strategies to address inequities in HIV policies and programs” (7/23).