(Initial Report - July 19, 2015)
From Vancouver, Canada.
By Doctors Oscar and Eugenia Giordano

The 8th biennial International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015 – 19-22 July) started today at the Vancouver Convention Centre, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This is the largest scientific meeting on HIV. 

IAS 2015 will bring together a broad cross-section of more than 6,000 participants from all over the world, and it is expected that the most recent advances in the field of HIV/AIDS will be announced here.

The participants are coming with a focus on putting science into practice.

They are also determined to mobilize all the existing resources to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Almost 20 years ago, in this same city (Vancouver), HAART (The Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) was launched, that changed the treatment of HIV and AIDS forever, allowing millions of HIV positive people to live longer and with better quality of life. 

Twenty years ago, people used to take 18 pills per day. Then, through the uninterrupted and persistent research effort, Anti-Retroviral Therapy improved tremendously, to the extent that today, people who are HIV positive only take one pill per day, and it has been announced that in the future the treatment will be administered in one injection every 6 months. 

Today’s research in the field of HIV/AIDS is made by the combined effort of several laboratories and organizations all over the world which are conducting several trials. The reality of a vaccine is closer than ever before, and it may become available within the next 10 years. 

The participants are urging the governments to invest all necessary resources to put an end to the epidemic; otherwise, they say, the epidemic may rebound with catastrophic consequences. 

A strong sense of urgency was openly manifested yesterday. The lives of millions are at risk. Even if there is an improvement in the treatment, it will take years to reach the poorest areas of the world. 

After HAART was introduced in 1996, only 10,000 Africans used it initially, until 2003 or 2004 when it became available to larger populations on the continent of Africa.

Let’s be aware that the virus continues to infect many. Even today, more than 6,000 people in the world get infected with HIV daily! 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is keeping updated with the newest advances and strategies to combat this epidemic, sharing this news through its network all over Africa, and beyond, working intensively on prevention, care and support through its multiple programs. 

May God bless this international effort to discover a cure for this disease, and help us, as a church, to deliver a message of love and compassion for all. 

May there be no more discrimination or stigma, but just a living example of Jesus’ care for all. 

Get involved, learn more about this disease, help prevent it, and help those already touched by the epidemic!