Laws that criminalize injecting drug users, men who have sex with men and sex workers remain widespread, though evidence presented at the conference and elsewhere indicates clearly that such approaches undermine, rather than advance, public health goals. As a result of such laws, as well as stigma and discrimination, members of these communities have significantly reduced access to both treatment and prevention services.
The consistent call throughout AIDS 2010 for the extension of human rights protections as a central tenet of the global response to AIDS was amplified by today's three plenary speakers, one of whom delivered the annual Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture.
Combination HIV Prevention: Moving from Debate to Action
Dr. Carlos Cceres (Peru) of the Institute of Studies in Health, Sexuality and Human Development presented examples of combination prevention initiatives, including aspects of their design, impact figures and cost. Combination prevention includes biomedical interventions, behavioural and structural approaches. The concept maintains that a single prevention intervention is less effective than a combination of efforts that address multiple issues on several levels.
He said that combination prevention is increasingly considered a "sensible" way to move toward universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Cceres argued that combination prevention is evolving into a rich concept that is comprehensive, strategic, and evidence- and human rights-based. The added value of combination prevention strategies would help the concept become a guiding principle of the HIV response.
Dr. Elaine Abrams (United States) of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health called for a new era in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT). W
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International AIDS Society