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By Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations

IAS 2011 offers a wonderful opportunity for the scientific community to share information and give the world the tools to reach our shared vision of Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, and Zero AIDS-Related Deaths. These tools are not so far from our reach. Committed scientists, researchers and clinicians are achieving game-changing results that are revolutionizing HIV prevention, as well as HIV care and treatment. The old dichotomies between prevention and treatment no longer exist, as the science to support each is increasingly converging. We can expect further decreases in HIV stigma and discrimination as passionate advocates and activists, and in particular, people living with HIV, raise their voices and take charge of their health.

The scientific community has provided us with true breakthroughs this past year. Results from clinical trials have vastly widened our prevention tool-box, including oral pre-exposure prophylaxis and vaginal microbicides that reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Most recently, the extraordinary results of HPTN052, in which antiretrovirals used by people living with HIV dramatically reduced the risk of HIV transmission to their HIV-negative partners, give us further hope that we will continue to see reductions in the number of new HIV infections. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will be working closely with scientific and community partners to understand how the results from this groundbreaking study can most effectively be implemented, and to advocate for this implementation, while at the same time ensuring that the rights of people living with HIV are protected.

Already last year, UNAIDS, WHO and other global and local partners, were exploring ways of effectively expanding access to antiretroviral treatment and launched the Treatment 2.0 initiative. Treatment 2.0 is a radically simplified treatment platform that will also produce benefits in preventing HIV transmission. The five pillars of Treatment 2.0:– optimized drug regimens, point of care and other simplified lab technologies, cost reductions, service delivery modifications and community mobilization – have work streams that are robustly reflected in the evidence-based accomplishments that will be reported at this conference.

The full posting is available at IAS 2011 http://blog.ias2011.org/post/2011/07/17/The-Path-to-a-World-without-HIV.aspx

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