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The Global Civil Society Forum on Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Prevention

October 14-15, 2009

Geneva, Switzerland

LAHI & PHW

 

OSI Public Health Program’s meeting

 

“The Global Civil Society Forum on Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Prevention”

 

October 14-15, 2009

 

Geneva, Switzerland

 

 

The global civil society forum on antiretroviral therapy for HIV prevention will discuss the model of universal annual HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment. This forum follows an African civil society consultation on ART for prevention held on April 29, 2009 and precedes an invitation-only WHO consultation to be held on the same subject between November  2-4, 2009.

 

The publication in The Lancet of a mathematical model on ART for prevention developed by WHO scientists  has sparked a renewed discussion within civil society about the slow progress of universal treatment access and the potential for a "test and treat" model to accelerate the treatment agenda.  In many high-burden countries, national treatment programs are facing budgetary retrenchment, increasing costs of second and third line medications, currency devaluation and corresponding increased cost of importing medication, and other barriers to treatment.  Poverty, stigma and human rights violations continue to pose significant barriers to HIV testing. While the test-and-treat model has understandably inspired mixed reactions from AIDS and human rights advocates, there is broad agreement about the need to articulate a bold agenda for universal treatment access and what one advocate has called a "revolution" in HIV prevention.

 

This meeting provides an opportunity ahead of the World Health Organization (WHO) planning meeting on the model in early November for human rights and treatment advocates to discuss and find common ground on the many issues and questions raised by ART for prevention in general and the test-and-treat model in particular. Discussions at this meeting is informed by an update on ongoing and proposed research plans regarding the model.