The XIX International AIDS Conference on 22-27 July in Washington is due to be attended by over 20,000 delegates and constitutes a major gathering for those working worldwide to combat the epidemic. Apart from being on France’s stand, the French National AIDS Council (CNS) will present three contributions selected by the organisers.

Drugs, prostitution, and innovative financing

The CNS will deliver presentations at two oral sessions on drug policy and prostitution and will present an analysis of the paradoxes of French public policy in these areas and its negative impact on prevention and healthcare access. At a time when the French government is considering holding a consultation on legislation on the sex trade, the CNS’ contribution is set to shed light on the health issues that French policy on prostitution has so far failed to address.

The CNS will also present a poster on international HIV/AIDS control financing strategies, based on the promotion of innovative financing and mechanisms to reduce the price of treatments. In the current economic context, the CNS believes that it is vital that the major international financial backers, such as France, keep their commitment to allocate 0.7% of their GNP to public development aid and implement the financial transaction tax. The CNS wishes to reiterate that the objective of guaranteeing universal access to prevention, treatment and care would involve a 40% increase in annual investment, whereas international support dropped for the first time in 2010. Today, seven million people who are eligible for treatment – five million of whom live in Africa – do not receive the treatment they desperately need.

Click here to download the programme detailing the CNS’ involvement in Washington

Finally, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently having granted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for an antiretroviral treatment to be used as a primary prevention method, the Washington conference will be an opportunity for the CNS to publicise its recent Opinion on the potential benefits of the concept of HIV/AIDS pre-exposure prophylaxis and to help shed light on the issue. Regarding health policy in France, the CNS believes that the emphasis should be placed on speeding up and widening the implementation of a comprehensive combined prevention approach, bringing together increased promotion of screening and all the available prevention methods.

The Washington D.C. Declaration, launched to coincide with this XIX world conference, states that AIDS control has come to a turning point in its history. Scientific advances and the great efforts made in the fields of access to prevention, screening and effective treatments have brought the world to the brink of turning the tide on the AIDS epidemic. However, action and resources need to be scaled up to an unprecedented level in order to implement them.

In this respect, the CNS is glad that Marisol Touraine, France’s Minister for Social Affairs and Health, and Geneviève Fioraso, the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, are scheduled to attend the conference, which constitutes a unique opportunity for governments to announce concrete and quantifiable commitments commensurate with the issues at stake.

Contact: Julien Bressy, Communication officer | +33(0)6 35 26 85 71 |

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