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At opening of XVIII International AIDS Conference, scientific, community and political leaders applaud recent progress toward universal access and urge continued momentum to 'finish what we've started'
Date:7/19/2010

While at AIDS 2010, Ms. Lennox will headline a march and rally on human rights on Tuesday, 20 July: www.hivhumanrightsnow.org).

"In the past five years, the coverage of HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries has increased tenfold to now reach five million people," said Dr. Brigitte Schmied, AIDS 2010 Local Co-

Chair and President of the Austrian AIDS Society. "Just ten years after AIDS 2000 in Durban, we have shown the sceptics that universal access is achievable; that this is a goal we can and must reach," she said. "Holding ourselves and our political leaders accountable for this goal, especially as the next Global Fund replenishment approaches, is our continued challenge in the months ahead."

Vienna Declaration: Leading with Science, not Ideology

The launch of the Vienna Declaration in the lead up to the conference emphasizes the importance of responding to AIDS with evidence-based policies and programmes. The official conference declaration calls for the reorientation of drug policy from the "War on Drugs" approach to an evidence-based approach that recognizes the human rights and medical needs of those who use illicit drugs. The current approach has impeded efforts to prevent HIV through the use of interventions such as needle and syringe programmes and opioid substitution therapy. Access to these interventions is limited despite evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. Nobel Laureates and world leaders in science, medicine, economics, and from civil society have already endorsed the declaration, as have hundreds of organizations and the former Presidents of Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico. Individual and organizational endorsements may be made online at: www.viennadeclaration.com.

Evidence also makes clear that the success of HIV scale-up demands that strong human rights protections be in place for those most vulnerable to HIV, including women and girls, displaced populations, men who have sex with
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Contact: Regina Aragon
Regina.Aragon@gmail.com
43-699-172-85713
International AIDS Society
Source:Eurekalert

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