First published on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk on 31 March 2014
What a month March has been! I was in Boston, USA for the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
(CROI 2014) where some very promising HIV cure related science made global headlines but more of that in my next blog.
After a brief stop off in San Francisco and Melbourne I travelled to India to take AIDS 2014 on the road.
My first stop was New Delhi where UNAIDS India and the Government of Victoria hosted a public seminar where I delivered a lecture detailing the progress on work towards an HIV cure. More...
First published on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk on 5 March 2014
I think all of us who have attended an International AIDS Conference in some capacity will agree that events of this kind are few and far between. I go to many conferences both as a delegate and speaker and nothing rivals the pure energy, colour and emotion that International AIDS conferences bring to the people that attend them, in the first instance and secondly, to the cities that host them.
In the broader public's mind of course, some of these conferences have been defined by the history- defining moments that they facilitated: the announcement of the first antiretrovirals at the Vancouver conference in 1996 was undoubtedly one of the great scientific breakthroughs of the past century ; the "life saving " speech delivered by the great late Nelson Mandela More...
First published on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk on 17 December 2013
It's been quite a month and I had planned on beginning this blog with an initial reflection on the recent ICAAP conference in Bangkok but that has been superseded by the passing of Nelson Mandela, a champion of the HIV/AIDS cause.
We are indebted to Mr Mandela for his leadership role in making HIV/AIDS in sub Saharan Africa an issue that the world could no longer ignore. Mr Mandela's speech at the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2000 changed the course of the epidemic in both his country and the continent. More...
First published on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk on 24 October 2013
I'm writing this at the tail end of what has been a hectic but extraordinarily energising week on the path to AIDS2014 - I know it's only October 2013 but it is certainly apparent already to me and my colleagues both here in Australia and at the IAS Secretariat in Switzerland that there is already a groundswell of momentum building ahead of the event.
To begin with, it was quite a week in Sydney where over 70 members of the Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC) and program committees had flown in from More...
First published on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk on 16 September 2013
As I flew out from Stockholm to Denver last Wednesday it occurred to me how far we had come in HIV Cure research since the International AIDS Society held the first HIV Cure workshop at the AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna.
I've been in Stockholm this week speaking on how a group of cancer drugs called HDAC inhibitors can activate latent HIV at an HIV Cure conference organised by the Karolinska Institutet and all of us who attended have come away feeling energised and encouraged. More...
First published on www.huffingtonpost.co.uk on 2 May 2013
The recent global news story that a newborn child in the US had been "functionally" cured of HIV was a powerful reminder of just how far we have come in the past three decades. The "Mississippi Baby" encapsulates the hope that many of us now share - to one day finding a cure for HIV. It also reminds us of the great contribution that Science has made in transforming what was once a death sentence into a chronic manageable disease.
HIV treatments can now transform lives; antiretrovirals are highly effective, and if started at the right time, the life expectancy of someone living with HIV is the same as an uninfected person. Treatment also dramatically reduces HIV transmission. These striking scientific advances have led many to believe that seeing an end to AIDS is no longer a dream - but within our reach now. The challenge now is marshalling the required forces -- scientific, clinical, political and funding - to do what we know works. More...