AIDS 2014: "It's amazing, we've done it!"

Burnet Institute

25 July, 2014

Sir Bob Geldof delivers the keynote address at the AIDS 2014 closing plenary. Photos courtesy of International AIDS Society/Steve Forrest.

After five days of HIV science, knowledge sharing, advocacy and activism, the 20th International AIDS Society Conference, AIDS 2014 has drawn to a close.

Local Co-Chair and Burnet’s Co-Head of the Centre for Biomedical Research, Professor Sharon Lewin exclaiming, ‘it’s amazing, we’ve done it!’

Professor Lewin did acknowledge however that despite hearing about all the great work and progress that has been made in the HIV response, there is still much to be done.

“We need to address hot-spots and key-affected populations, and now more than ever need an increase in funding to do it. Now is not the time to slacken the pace,” she said.

“This week we also heard that even after 30 years, stigma and discrimination remain a major barrier in responding to HIV.”

Professor Lewin then took the opportunity to encourage those in the packed auditorium to sign the Melbourne Declaration.

She finished her speech by thanking clinicians, researchers, members of affected and at-risk community and all levels of government in Australia.

“Melbourne really did put on a show this week and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved, and more importantly there was not a drop of rain!”

Anti-poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof delivered a rousing keynote speech where he urged those in the room to continue their good work.

“What this vile disease brought forth was a new and unique cooperation of your talents,” Sir Bob said.

“Our century must be defined by the things that define you, your job, this conference - to end the grave issue that you face and they are cooperation, consensus and compromise.”


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