STRIVE at IAS 2013

21 July 2013
Alexandra Hyde, Madhumita Das and Michelle Remme

STRIVE researchers attending the 7th IAS conference, June-July 2013, reported a great deal of discussion relevant to the structural drivers of HIV.

Madhumita Das and Michelle Remme sent news from the International AIDS Society Conference (IAS 2013) in Kuala Lumpur.

In an advanced level workshop, Breaking through stigma: the missing component in biomedical prevention efforts, Madhumita Das presented findings from ICRW-ARO’s implementation of stigma reduction guidelines in five settings in India. Her presentation included some important questions relevant to biomedical prevention efforts:

Though stigma and discrimination are not on the agenda of IAS upfront, there was a very high participation of biomedical and behavioural scientists in our session. A UNAIDS representative added that the effectiveness of the stigma reduction framework in five different settings in India showed that many more countries could adopt this approach.

Michelle Remme from LSHTM co-facilitated a professional staff development workshop on measuring value for money. She highlighted the limitation of cost-effectiveness analysis regarding interventions with multiple outcomes.

Launched on the first day of the conference, the new WHO ARV guidelines were a major focus of debate in many sessions that followed. Advocates argued that implementing the guidelines would avert an additional 3 million HIV-related deaths and 3.5 million new HIV infections by 2015, for an additional 10% of total resource needs. 

Selected highlights from the conference are available on the conference website:

  • Barbara de Zalduondo from UNAIDS on structural drivers and interventions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Read more...
  • Women need to be able to choose HIV prevention options. Read more...
  • Harm reduction programmes are among the global best buys, but a myriad of structural barriers mean that less than 1.2% of people who inject drugs (PWID) in Central Asia are receiving ART. Read more...
  • "If we can't treat our way out of this epidemic, can we buy our way out?" Read more...
  • Tomorrow starts today: HIV and adolescents. Read more...

In focus group discussions evaluating the conference, Madhumita Das advocated for more sessions that combined research on both biomedical and behavioural factors.