World AIDS Day 2012: Reasons for hope, but still a way to go...

30 November 2012
Alexandra Hyde

As STRIVE's Annie Holmes observes in a World AIDS Day post for the LIDC blog, in recent years the AIDS narrative has shifted at least towards a more hopeful note. She points to the advances in biomedical interventions and the wealth of work from clinical trials to health economics at LSHTM as examples.

At the same time however, many of the groups and organisations marking this year's World AIDS day are united in sounding a note of caution. In her blog, Annie looks back at some of the issues in getting condoms - once a breakthrough technology - into widespread use. This she says is an important reminder not to celebrate too soon. Crucially, it is also a reminder of the social, political and structural factors that shape the HIV epidemic and prevent such technologies from reaching their potential. It is these barriers that STRIVE has been set up to research. Despite all the good news in the fight against HIV/AIDS therefore, STRIVE's focus this World AIDS Day is on the many obstacles that remain.

In London, Research Director Charlotte Watts will be taking part in a panel discussion at the Commonwealth Secretariat. The event will provide a valuable opportunity for multi-sectoral consultation with representatives from financial, legal, education and human rights sectors among others.

In South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, our associates at Grassroot Soccer are hosting HIV Counselling and Testing Tournaments, featuring competitive soccer alongside access to testing and referral services for the community. 

Meanwhile, research groups including STRIVE have come together for AIDS - It's Not Overan exhibition of work on HIV/AIDS by LSHTM and its partners. On Monday LSHTM is hosting a variety of film screenings about HIV AIDS, which are free and open to all. You can find out more about World AIDS Day at LSHTM here.

Elsewhere in the UK, the Stop AIDS Campaign is continuing to ask Why Stop Now? in its activities to lobby the UK government, which you can follow on Twitter @stopaids.