World AIDS Day, on Monday 1 December, provides an important opportunity to build on the momentum generated by the AIDS 2014 Conference in Melbourne, according to Burnet Institute Associate Professor Mark Stoové.
Associate Professor Stoové, Head, HIV Research, will deliver the keynote address at the Living Positive Victoria/Burnet Institute World AIDS Day Official Launch at Melbourne’s Federation Square.
“It is an absolute honour and privilege to be asked by Living Positive Victoria to help officially launch World AIDS Day 2014,” said Associate Professor Stoové.
“This year coincides with the beginning of an era of true optimism in the 30-year fight against HIV.
“I think it is now recognised, both in Australia and internationally, that we have an armoury of prevention tools capable of delivering an enormous global reduction in the burden of HIV.
“Whether we take messages like Ending HIV or An AIDS-Free Generation as literal or aspirational goals, what really matters is that we do as much as we can to implement and sustain the evidence-based strategies that will be effective in reducing HIV transmission risk.
“To some extent, the end takes care of itself.”
Associate Professor Stoové said this year’s Global and World AIDS Day theme of ‘Getting to Zero’ reminds us that HIV can affect anyone.
“Reducing risk, testing frequently, ensuring universal access to timely, ongoing and high quality treatment and care for those living with HIV, ending stigma, marginalisation and disenfranchisement among those at risk or living with HIV – these responses require sustained commitment and investment from government and community,” he said.
“These strategies are by no means easy.
“The heavy lifting required to meet our aspiration of getting to zero has only just begun.”