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The history of the HIV response is woven into the International AIDS Conferences. Ground-breaking science and political activism at the conferences have uniquely shaped the trajectory of the response.  Conferences in Canada have played key roles. In Montreal in 1989, protestors stormed the stage, establishing activism in the HIV response. In Vancouver in 1996, delegates celebrated a treatment revolution that saw HIV become a manageable condition. Today, AIDS 2022 returns to Montreal and also takes place virtually. But other crises like monkeypox, surging COVID-19 cases and climate change, remind us why now more than ever, we need to re-engage and follow the science.  In this episode of HIV unmuted, the award-winning IAS podcast, we take a deep dive into the breaking science being released at AIDS 2022, address important access concerns at the International AIDS Conferences and understand how to translate cutting-edge science into meaningful action. Meet our guests:  Erika Castellanos is Interim Executive Director of Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE). She tells us her story of growing up being denied basic human rights due to being trans and the difficulties she faced in accessing HIV medication. Erika helps analyse controversial visa issues around AIDS 2022, and helps us understand the community impact of the science being released at the conference. Linda-Gail Bekker, former IAS President and current Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the University of Cape Town, dives into the breaking science being released at AIDS 2022 and translates what this means for the HIV response.  John Nkengasong is tasked with leading some of the world’s largest HIV programmes as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. He talks to us about why AIDS 2022 is so important and his vision for the future of the HIV response.  If you are listening to this episode before 29 July 2022 and want to learn more about the latest scientific breakthroughs in the HIV response, join us at the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022) virtually or in-person in Montreal.For further information on how the innovations from COVID-19 can be applied to HIV, read the International AIDS Society’s report.
The development of COVID-19 vaccines has allowed some people to return to “normal life”. But even now, not everyone can access these vaccines, particularly people living in low-income countries.  Unequal access to healthcare is a sadly familiar story for people living with HIV. From 1997 to 2006, an estimated 12 million people on the continent of Africa died because HIV treatment was too expensive.  In this episode of HIV unmuted, the award-winning IAS podcast, we will discuss why these parallels in unfair healthcare access are showing up time and time again, look ahead to the recent monkeypox outbreak, and assess whether we have learnt the critical lessons from COVID-19 and HIV.  Our guests are: Patricia Asero Ochieng is the chairperson of the International Community of Women Living with HIV in Kenya. She was diagnosed with HIV in the 1990s when her daughter was born. In Kenya at the time, access to HIV treatment was scarce and stigma was rampant. Patricia knew the answer lay in access and began advocating for treatment.  Eric Goemaere is an infectious disease specialist with a career spanning 40 years with Médecins Sans Frontières. When Eric arrived in South Africa in the mid-1990s, he was ready for a challenge, working on the biggest HIV epidemic in the world. Little did he expect the greater challenges of access to HIV treatment he was about to face. Meg Doherty is the Director of the Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programmes at the World Health Organization (WHO). Meg helps us to understand why – even when we have the science and means to deal with outbreaks – we continue to have unequal outcomes in global health.  Mike Ryan is the Executive Director for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. Being at the forefront of managing acute risks to global health for nearly 25 years, Mike discusses pandemic preparedness and access issues in global health and applies this to the current outbreak.   Rena Janamnuaysook is a Program Manager for Transgender Health at the Institute of HIV Research in Bangkok, Thailand, where she established the Tangerine Community Health Clinic, the first trans-led health clinic in Southeast Asia. When COVID-19 hit, she had to pivot at the local level to address the issues that globally continue to hamper our pandemic responses.  If you are listening to this episode before 29 July 2022 and want to learn more about the intersection of HIV, COVID-19, and monkeypox, along with the latest scientific breakthroughs in the HIV response, attend the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022) virtually or in-person in Montreal.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the region of the world where HIV acquisitions are increasing the fastest. In Ukraine, an estimated 260,000 people are living with HIV. Many thousands more are vulnerable to acquiring HIV and rely on access to HIV prevention services. In this episode of HIV unmuted, the IAS podcast, we hear how the Russian invasion of Ukraine could mean a resurgence of Ukraine’s AIDS epidemic. And in a region with an already rapidly growing HIV epidemic, this could be a public health disaster. Our guests are:Valeriia Rachinska from 100% Life, the largest organization of people living with HIV in Ukraine, experienced a Russian invasion when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. After that, she’s not afraid to fight, but she’s afraid to live under Russian occupation. Despite this fear, she stays to help where she is desperately needed.Andriy Klepikov never thought he would be an internally displaced person. Crammed into an office with seven other people and two pets, he tells us how he continues to lead the Alliance for Public Health, delivering critical HIV services.Michel Kazatchkine is an Advisor to the World Health Organization in the region and the former UN Secretary-General Special Envoy on HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He helps us understand why the HIV epidemic in the region continues to grow and why this war is both a catastrophe for public health and an extraordinary mobilization of solidarity.If you want to help those in need in Ukraine, click on the links below to donate:  ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND 100% LIFE If you are listening to this episode before 29 July 2022 and want to learn more about how conflict impacts people living with HIV and the latest scientific breakthroughs in the HIV response, attend the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022) virtually or in-person in Montreal. 
Hope for a cure

Hope for a cure


The discovery of a safe and effective HIV cure would move us closer to a world in which HIV no longer presents a threat to public health and individual well-being.  In this special World AIDS Day episode of HIV unmuted, the IAS podcast, we share the human endeavours behind the journey to a cure – and the hope it would bring to 38 million people living with HIV.   We are joined by:  ·         IAS President-Elect Sharon Lewin on the latest cure strategies and the hope the most recent person cured of HIV, the “Esperanza patient”, provides for a cure  ·         Adam, the “London patient”, and his doctor, Ravi Gupta, on the bone marrow transplant that cured Adam of HIV, and why it’s not a feasible cure for all ·         Moses “Supercharger” Nsubuga on how travelling home next to his coffin to die changed his life and led him to become an HIV cure advocate in Uganda The third edition of Research Priorities for an HIV Cure: IAS Global Scientific Strategy was published on World AIDS Day in Nature Medicine. It highlights critical gaps, progress made, and the next steps science must follow towards a scalable, affordable and culturally appropriate cure. Find out more at
HIV is not a crime

HIV is not a crime


In 1987, the United States introduced the world’s first laws criminalizing HIV. Today, despite scientific evidence that HIV criminalization harms public health, 92 countries still have laws that are used to prosecute people living with HIV. In this episode of HIV unmuted, the IAS podcast, we hear how these unjust laws have forever changed the lives of three people living with HIV and what must be done to end the criminalization of HIV. Listen now to their stories of injustice, fear and stigma:•             Justice Edwin Cameron on being South Africa’s first public figure to speak out about living with HIV and his crusade to decriminalize HIV•             A Malawian mother, known as EL, who was jailed for allegedly breastfeeding another woman's baby, as told by her lawyer, Wesley Mwafulirwa•             American Robert Suttle on how a bad breakup led to his imprisonment and lifelong registration as a sex offender.
We now move to the 1990s. Dr David Ho, Time Magazine’s 1996 Person of the Year and personal doctor to basketball legend Magic Johnson, talks to our host, Femi Oke, about his role in developing pioneering combination drug therapy. This treatment breakthrough helped transform HIV from a likely death sentence into a manageable condition if you had access to care and medication.We are also joined by three HIV activists who were all diagnosed young and kept their status a secret for many years: •             Doreen Moraa Moracha, social media influencer from Kenya, who was born with HIV in 1992•             Nathaniel Hall, star of television’s ''It’s a Sin'', which tells the story of the early years of AIDS in the UK, on his HIV diagnosis at age 16•             Shawn Decker, POZ magazine blogger, musician and educator, who contracted HIV as a child through the use of blood products to treat haemophilia. Plus, hear about the latest scientific advances from IAS 2021 – the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science – that are revolutionizing treatment, as well as prevention. These include leveraging long-acting implants and injections so that people no longer have to rely on daily pills.ViiV Healthcare: NP-GBL-HVU-PCST-210004Date of preparation: June-2021
On our second episode of HIV unmuted, Nobel Laureate Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi shares the behind-the-scenes story of how she co-discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This breakthrough provided the first big scientific step forward and hope for treatment. We are also joined by:Neal Blewett, Australia’s Health Minister (1983-1991) on leading his country’s forward-thinking bipartisan effortsLong-term survivor, Pacific Islander Vince Crisostomo, on facing mounting loss, fear and stigmaSouth African, Vuyiseka Dubula, who busts the myths that drove her to activism
Our first episode jumps back to 1981Dr Anthony Fauci talks to our host, Femi Oke, about how the emergence of this mysterious disease, later known as AIDS, changed the course of his career. He shares why an HIV vaccine, promised by 1986, is the “big and last Holy Grail that we have to achieve”.We are also joined by:·         Physician Dr Michael Gottlieb, the first to report AIDS as a new disease in June 1981·         HIV activist and epidemiologist Dr Gregg Gonsalves on his role in galvanizing community activism·         Advocates Vincent Basajja (Uganda), Udom Likhitwonnawut (Thailand) and Maureen Luba(Malawi) dispelling myths about vaccines and vaccine research
It’s been 40 years since AIDS was first reported. We now live in a world where AIDS has become old news: the forgotten pandemic.  HIV unmuted, the IAS - International AIDS Society - podcast, brings together global HIV change-makers as we journey through the last four decades. We recreate moments in time, and spotlight the scientific advances and human endeavours central to the response. Together, we reflect on our past, focus on our present and look to the future. This is HIV unmuted. Join us.
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