Program on Global Health & Human Rights (GHHR) staff, along with 24,000 others who attended the International AIDS Conference(IAC) in July, have returned home from Washington, D.C., to unpack and reflect on their experiences.
Located in a different country every two years, the IAC is the largest and most comprehensive conference in the field of HIV. For decades it has provided a platform for stakeholders across a range of constituencies to meet and learn from one another about the major issues facing the global response to HIV.
This year’s conference, Turning the Tide Together, showcased recent progress in addressing the HIV epidemic throughout the world. It also highlighted challenges that must be overcome on the road ahead. Here are a few highlights of GHHR’s contributions before, during and after the conference:
Professor Gruskin Explores the Social and Political Context of the Epidemic
From day one the response to HIV has been both social and political, and as science continues to advance, the role of the social and political context in shaping the HIV response has received insufficient attention—yet its importance cannot be overstated. GHHR Director Sofia Gruskin participated in the Social and Political Sciences Preconference,Ensuring a Supportive Environment for an Effective Long-Term HIV Response: Social and Political Challenges. Professor Gruskin was one of two discussants on the opening plenary. Responding to Richard Parker’s presentation, “The Politics of AIDS: Lessons Learned from the First 30 Years of the Epidemic (and Their Implications for the Fourth Decade),” she highlighted critical and controversial topics for further discussion throughout the preconference with particular emphasis on what is needed to support the next generation of researchers and scholars in this area.
Professor Ferguson Examines Rapid HIV Testing
Progress in diagnostic science has enabled almost instantaneous HIV diagnoses, yet little is known about the psychological and social implications of rapid testing. GHHR Professor Laura Ferguson presented her poster, “’I felt like she ambushed me…’: Experience of Rapid HIV Testing in Antenatal Care in a District Hospital in Kenya.” The poster explores pregnant women’s experiences of the near-instant HIV diagnosis and its implications for their uptake of long-term HIV care services. Download the presentation (PDF) »
GHHR Lends Some Elbow Grease to the Women’s Network Zone
GHHR Project Specialist Chelsea Moore helped staff the Women’s Networking Zone before, during and after the conference. The Women’s Networking Zone, located in the Global Village of the IAC, is founded upon more than a decade of collaborative organizing around women and HIV at International AIDS Conferences. It is a community-built forum that provides a space for individuals and organizations interested in the area of women and HIV to meet and share ideas. Chelsea spent the week writing press releases, helping to run programming, and even building a bookshelf or two! Access the Women’s Networking Zone’s newsletters and updates from the conference »
GHHR Hosts Panel on Pregnancy Decisions of HIV-Positive Women
GHHR organized a well-attended panel located at the Women’s Networking Zone. The panel, The Pregnancy Decisions of Women Living with HIV, gathered contributing authors from the journal supplement on the same topic that GHHR is producing with WHO support and in collaboration with the journal Reproductive Health Matters. The supplement is intended to foster a more complete understanding of the research that exists to support the reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV, and where there are persisting gaps in knowledge. The supplement’s authors presented on a range of relevant topics, delivered key insights drawn from their research and hosted a lively discussion with participants. Download information about the supplement (PDF) »
Professor Gruskin Brings Attention to the Links between Gender-Based Violence and HIV
The links between gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV are widely acknowledged in research and policy circles. However, much of the research on the topic is narrowly focused on violence against women to the detriment of exploring gender and violence more broadly defined as they intersect with HIV. The poster, “The intersections of gender-based violence: Does evolving understanding of gender matter for who and what is studied?” examines current research at the intersection of GBV and HIV and seeks to highlight gaps between research and policy and programmatic initiatives in this area. Download the presentation (PDF) »
For more information on IAC conference highlights click here.