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Francophone HIV/AIDS Conference underlines importance of prevention

Late last month, Paris was the setting for the 4th Francophone Conference on HIV and AIDS. Speakers participating in the event underlined the urgent need to pursue a dual approach to fighting AIDS which would give priority to both prevention and treatment.

Some six million people living in Francophone countries are infected with HIV. Many millions more lives are affected by the virus. The 4th Francophone Conference brought together 1.500 specialists from a variety of backgrounds - medical researchers, ministers, civil society activists and pharmaceutical industry representatives - to exchange information on the latest developments with regard to the fight against HIV and AIDS. The Conference was held in Paris on 30-31 March under the aegis of the French National Agency on AIDS Research (ANRS). EI staff attended the event to inform participants about the EFAIDS Programme and to gather up-to-date information on issues related to prevention and treatment. These issues included methods of Prevention of mother to child transmission (PMCT), access to Anti-retroviral treatment (ARVs) and the emergence of new prevention tools. A number of strong messages emerged from the discussions, including the need to provide free and equitable access to ARVs and to support countries such as Brazil and Thailand who are endeavouring to do so. A number of speakers including Catherine Hankins, Chief Scientific Adviser of UNAIDS, made an appeal to those active in the fight against HIV and AIDS to invest as much thought, effort and funding into prevention efforts as into treatment. For more information, please contact us at efaids@ei-ie.org.

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Francophone Conference on HIV/AIDS

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