Montréal, Canada and virtually | 29 July — 2 August
The 24th International AIDS Conference #AIDS2022 was held in Montreal, Canada, and virtually. Convened by IAS – the International AIDS Society, the annual event unites scientists, policy makers and activists to galvanize the scientific response, build global solidarity and enhance human dignity for all those living with and affected by HIV. NAPWHA has compiled a selective list of program highlights that may be of interest for our communities below. Also access NAM aidsmap: The official scientific media partner for the conference.
U=U Global Summit
Chamut Kifetew and Richard Angell of @THTorguk share the impact the #CantPassItOn campaign. When patients hear about Can’t Pass It On from their providers, they are more likely to believe the message and have improved health outcomes! #UequalsUSummit22 https://t.co/JB96pxKogb pic.twitter.com/RuKk30eOqO
— Prevention Access (@PreventionAC) July 28, 2022
These lucky ducks just discovered the science of U=U. #UequalsU means there is ZERO risk of HIV transmission.
Don’t let some “Quack” tell you otherwise. ALL healthcare providers need to share the TRUTH about U=U or we will share it for you!#ZeroRisk#DontBeAQuack #LuckyDuck pic.twitter.com/4dmciIUkSE
— The Accidental HIV Activist (@AccidentalHiv) July 31, 2022
Professor Sharon Lewin address as she takes the reins as President of the IAS
I am truly honoured to serve as @iasociety President.
I will work tirelessly toward the organization’s vision of a world in which #HIV no longer presents a threat to public health and individual well-being. https://t.co/0dbXw8N0CY #AIDS2022 pic.twitter.com/G3s91mmdGG
— Sharon Lewin (@ProfSharonLewin) August 2, 2022
Except: I look forward to IAS 2023, the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science, taking place next year in Australia. I had the honour of serving as Local Co-Chair at AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, a memory cast in shadow by the 280 lives that were lost on flight MH17; many were IAS Members, including former IAS President Joep Lange.
It felt impossible to hold a productive meeting after such a tragedy, just as the challenges of today can feel insurmountable. But the secret of success of the HIV movement has always been how we come together – diverse communities, diverse disciplines, from all corners of the world.
Together, harnessing the strength, passion and talent of this movement, we will end this epidemic once and for all.”
HIV Cure Research: Rapportage by Jillian Lau
At AIDS2022, Infectious Diseases doctor, Jillian Lau, who has been involved in HIV cure clinical research at Alfred Health (Monash University) based in Melbourne, and completing a PhD in this field, reported back about HIV cure research being presented through the @HIVCureAU Twitter handle.
All that shaking and baking wraps up the #HIVcure program at #AIDS2022 @AIDS_conference. Thanks for joining me for these updates, I’m going to hop back to my usual Twitter home @JillianLau1 for the rest of the conference. Give me a follow if liked what you saw this week ✌️ pic.twitter.com/RN2eG1TPCR
— HIV cure (@HIVcureAU) August 2, 2022
The #AIDS2022 Conference reminds us that we CAN stop HIV and eradicate AIDS.
A 66-year-old man has possibly been cured of HIV via a stem cell transplant.
A woman has been in HIV remission for over 15 years after an immune-boosting regimen. https://t.co/lzVVL9K6VE
— Global Health Strategies (@GHS) July 31, 2022
HIV Criminalisation and HIV Law: Rapportage by Paul Kidd
At AIDS2022, research and action on HIV criminalisation and HIV law were well represented, summarised in this twitter thread by @PaulKidd.
1️⃣ GLOBAL: just before the conference, @HIVJusticeNet released 'Advancing #HIVJustice 4' (AHJ4), a global survey of the state of #HIVcrim. HJN tracked 275 cases in 39 countries over a three-year period, but estimates the true number to be over 700. https://t.co/FB7qu2CtRL
— PK (@paulkidd) August 10, 2022
Vikas Parwani of @halcNSW presented a case-study of a client who, while ultimately not convicted, was the first known prosecution under NSW's new mandatory precautions law (s79). 'I followed the law and it still ruined my life," the client says. https://t.co/mshaw7H0HB pic.twitter.com/kIJexMULrh
— PK (@paulkidd) August 10, 2022
Alex Stratigos @halcNSW and Aaron Cogle @napwha had a poster about the proliferation in Australia of anti-scientific mandatory testing laws for people who spit at police officers. They are based on 'misplaced fear', they argue. https://t.co/FrNjCsgyFL pic.twitter.com/4ue5a9JoJo
— PK (@paulkidd) August 10, 2022
8️⃣ THE WRAP-UP. #HIVcrim research and advocacy was very visible at #AIDS2022, perhaps more so than ever before. Progress is painfully slow, but great work is being done. Kudos to @MatthewWeait63 whose leadership no doubt helped to highlight that work. pic.twitter.com/gMOB7ArCHa
— PK (@paulkidd) August 10, 2022
The Silver Zone: a Networking Zone for Older Adults Living with HIV
The Silver Zone in the AIDS2022 Global Village is a place for older people living with HIV to re-engage with the HIV community and follow the science on HIV and ageing; to feel included and celebrated.
It was so good seeing the opening of the Global Village and the #SILVERZONE at #AIDS2022. NAPWHA'S Dr John Rule was engaged in helping bring this project to life and we are looking forward to attending and engaging with the sessions being held in the coming days. https://t.co/6rvTOmMiNT
— NAPWHA — firstname.lastname@example.org (@napwha) July 30, 2022
The eloquence and warmth of this interview style session at the #SilverZone has been beautiful to behold. Real humans sharing their HIV journey, and what brings them health, joy, and quality of life.
This channel is now a @BrentAllanKidd fan club.
— NAPWHA — email@example.com (@napwha) August 1, 2022
Bi+ People Living with HIV: Positive Networking Zone
If you are at #AIDS2022 we hope you can join us on monday for what is set to be a dynamic session that focuses on the need for targeted research and interventions for Bi+ people, and going beyond tacking them on to MSM approaches.
True and effective representation matters. pic.twitter.com/bYCRr73mGQ
— NAPWHA — firstname.lastname@example.org (@napwha) July 30, 2022
Women’s Networking Zone
Energy, excitement and power in full force at the opening of the Women’s Networking Zone at #AIDS2022! This must be a permanent feature at all @AIDS_conference. We should not have to fight for this space. #FeministFuturesHIV pic.twitter.com/kSJ2k41KMB
— Winnie Byanyima (@Winnie_Byanyima) July 31, 2022
We had the honor of being joined by peer advocate @_mphuthithato of @ee_enabled at the Research Literacy Zone as she shared with #AIDS2022 that all planning and interventions should center the experiences of Black and Brown women and women with disabilities. Watch more here! ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/1FEGxuh2lD
— AVAC (@HIVpxresearch) July 31, 2022
Breast/chestfeeding guidance and advocacy
Fantastic session on breastfeeding & infant feeding options for WLHIV. Shocked to hear of an American woman threatened with social services by a doctor for wanting to breastfeed. 9 WLHIV in East & Southern Africa have faced criminal prosecution for breastfeeding #AIDS2022 pic.twitter.com/boNZZLT761
— UCL Clinical Research in Infection & Sexual Health (@UCL_CRISH) July 31, 2022
PozQoL (Quality of life among people with HIV) and AusQoL (the Australian Accord)
⬆️quality of life and ⬇️ stigma for people with HIV has been a theme at #AIDS2022. https://t.co/AAdzVLLB2U is a short validated scale developed by and for people with HIV for use in community, clinical and research settings – now translated into 15 languages. #AIDS2022
— Graham Brown (@DrGrahamBrown) August 2, 2022
When we make plans to end the HIV epidemic as a public health threat, we also need to ensure we end its impacts on personal health and wellbeing as well.
— Daniel Reeders 🏳️⚧️ (@engagedpractx) July 30, 2022
Panel discussion on Person-centered Care
Panel discussion underway on person-centered care at #AIDS2022, with @ASHMMedia’s Brent Allan 🇦🇺, Lighthouse’s Doan Thanh Tung 🇻🇳, @TASOUganda's Baker Bakashaba 🇺🇬, @GPLI08’s Rodein Olete 🇵🇭, and Daisy Kwala 🇰🇪. pic.twitter.com/czTtHAtIf0
— IAS – the International AIDS Society (@iasociety) July 31, 2022
It has been deeply impressive seeing the brilliant @BrentAllanKidd in action during #AIDS2022, first at the #UequalsU global summit, and now communicating the need to prioritise quality of life at the heart of the response for PLHIV. https://t.co/jE4ftq45bE
— NAPWHA — email@example.com (@napwha) July 31, 2022
'Key Population should not be considered as mere implementing partners nor beneficiaries, but rather 'leaders' of initiatives for their communities', says Inad Rendon, Community Strengthening Consultant, @apcom, #AIDS2022, #HIVPrevention, #GPC2022, @UNAIDS pic.twitter.com/mKzg20fqzB
— #GlobalHIVPreventionCoalition (@GPCoalition) July 31, 2022
Long-acting ARV Treatment
Video: What’s new in long-acting formulations of HIV medications for prevention and treatment? CATIE (Canada’s source for HIV and Hepatitis C information) spoke to Professor Chloe Orkin at Queen Mary University of London at this year’s International AIDS Conference who covers the new data on long-acting treatment, and their thoughts on the drug pipeline and on equity of access.
Could long-acting injectable cabotegravir and rilpivirine be self-administered? New formulations and alternative injection sites might allow administration of this long-acting treatment. Liz Highleyman reports back results from two studies which were presented to the 24th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2022), which was held in Montreal, Canada.
HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific
#AIDS2022 endorsement of KPLHS by @UNAIDS @Winnie_Byanyima a key milestone! But important challenges in scaling up remain, Rena Janamnuaysook urges all government & health ministry reps to life these restrictions & support KPLHS deliver! Deserved applause! Bravo Rena!! pic.twitter.com/pMvbooAwAK
— Laura Waters 🇺🇦 (@drlaurajwaters) August 1, 2022
Prof Budi Utomo presented the preliminary data from the national roll out of community HIV screening among key populations in indonesia.
It showcased the power of community based screening & the need for more investment into community led responses to HIV in Indonesia.#AIDS2022 pic.twitter.com/fcnIiHS3G2
— Beau (@BeauNewham) August 2, 2022
The new Global AIDS Update 2022 reveals shocking data on the state of the global AIDS response and highlights the urgent actions needed to get us back on track to end AIDS by 2030.
— UNAIDS (@UNAIDS) August 3, 2022
Just published: an important new article, using data from our HIV Futures survey, documents how laws criminalising the transmission of HIV have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV.https://t.co/woAtge72BY pic.twitter.com/m3IRWDyxL4
— ARCSHS (@LTU_Sex_Health) June 10, 2021
Data from HIV Futures – a national periodic survey of health and wellbeing of people living with HIV conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society of La Trobe University was used to examine the relationship between criminal laws and quality of life for people living with HIV. The paper concluded that laws criminalising the transmission of HIV have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV in Australia.
“HIV Futures involves over 800 people living with HIV across Australia focusing on a range of issues related to health and wellbeing,” explains co-author Dr Jennifer Power, elaborating that in this paper we [the co-authors] found an association between greater levels of worry about HIV criminalisation and poorer mental health.
HIV activist, lawyer, and paper co-author Paul Kidd continues, “In the study, we found that people who reported higher levels of anxiety about criminalisation also reported lower levels of resilience and a greater sense of vulnerability to HIV-related stigma”.
Although the vast majority of people with HIV understand and comply with laws about disclosure and taking reasonable precautions, a third of HIV Futures respondents said they were worried about disclosing their status to partners due to the risk of criminalisation. Almost a quarter of respondents were concerned about disclosure to service providers for the same reason.
“That suggests a level of fear and anxiety about unjust prosecution and profound negative impacts. Importantly, anxiety about criminalisation was higher among groups that are already marginalised, including people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and those experiencing financial hardship.”
NAPWHA co-author, Dr John Rule continues, “We’ve always understood that criminalisation of HIV and recourse to the legal system leads to problematic outcomes that are not based in known, successful public health approaches.”
There are a number of things we can do to respond to these findings. Improving awareness of the criminal law among people with HIV and ensuring people are aware of the requirements in their Australian State or Territory could help allay concerns. Improving peer support, especially for people newly diagnosed or those from more marginalised communities is equally as important. But ultimately, fears and anxieties about HIV criminalisation will only be eliminated when we end the criminalisation of un-intentional transmission and exposure. That needs to be the end goal.
Dr Jennifer Power, the leader of the study reminds us, “It is important that we use findings from studies such as HIV Futures to reflect on the ways existing policy and service delivery affects the 30,000 Australians who are living with HIV. The paper on criminalisation demonstrates that research can be used to point towards policy changes and responses.”
Currently the HIV Futures 10 Survey is open until March 2022.
Participants can enroll and respond to a series of questions about their health and quality of life.
Further viewing: Paul Kidd — HIV and the Law
In this address at the Art of Art in May 2018, Paul Kidd explores: What is the role of the criminal law in relation to HIV medicine? Medical practitioners and other health care workers provide testing, diagnosis, counsel and care – but the use of the criminal law to prosecute people with HIV means health professionals may also find themselves entangled in a criminal investigation. What should we tell patients about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to HIV transmission or exposure? Taking medical and legal notions of consent as its starting point, this presentation will explore the complex and problematic impacts of HIV criminalisation on medical practice and the lives of people living with HIV, discuss the unrealised potential for the criminal law to be a healing process, and provide some guidance for practitioners who need to balance their roles as health providers with the legalities of HIV transmission and exposure.
Paul Kidd is an activist, writer and commentator with a particular interest in LGBTI law reform and legal issues affecting people living with blood-borne viruses. He was the founding chair of the Victorian HIV Legal Working Group, is a past President of Living Positive Victoria, has served on the boards of the Victorian AIDS Council, Hepatitis Victoria and the Equality Project, and is a member of the Victorian Government LGBTI Justice Working Group. He holds an honours degree in law from La Trobe Law School.
Further viewing: Aaron Cogle — HIV Criminalisation
Video: In this address at the 2021 Virtual Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference, Aaron Cogle (NAPWHA CEO) presents on HIV criminalisation in a symposia entitled ‘Regulating Sex.’
Further viewing: Guide to the Legal issues within Victoria (by Living Positive Victoria)
Video: Watch the video recording of the Living Positive Victoria online launch in August 2021 of a guide to disclosing your HIV status, featuring inspiring and compelling stories of disclosure from members of their community.
11 May 2020
Proposed laws to forcibly test prisoners for HIV have no basis in science, perpetuate stigma, and should be referred to a parliamentary committee, according to the WA AIDS Council and National Association for People with HIV Australia.
Under laws set to be introduced to the WA Parliament on Tuesday, a prisoner who assaults a prison officer will be immediately tested for HIV. The laws overlook the following critical facts:
- HIV is not transmitted through saliva, a key myth perpetuated to justify this and similar legislation.
- In the unlikely event a prison officer was exposed to HIV, they should take post-exposure prophylaxis, a medicine which can prevent transmission within 72 hours of exposure.
- The Government’s press release falsely claims prison officers who have been assaulted have to wait three months before they themselves can be tested for HIV. This is false. Modern HIV tests detect exposure within six days.
- Falsely equating HIV with criminality inflames stigma and discourages people from seeking tests for HIV.
- A vaccine exists for hepatitis B and there is a cure for hepatitis C.
WAAC President, Asanka Gunasekera said:
“HIV thrives on stigma and misinformation. These laws inflame that problem and hinder our prevention efforts. Marginalised communities such as gay and bisexual men, people who inject drugs, and sex workers will be less likely to seek a test for HIV when they see it associated with criminality.
“Part of the case for these laws rests on the discomfort prison officers face when they are spat upon. However, HIV is not transmitted through saliva, destroying one of the key arguments for introducing this legislation.
“The Government has also argued a prison officer may face an anxious three month wait to know if they have contracted HIV. The truth is that modern tests pick up the presence of HIV within six days of exposure. Rapid tests provide highly accurate results within fifteen minutes.
NAPWHA President Scott Harlum said:
“Frontline workers including prison officers need to know they’re being sold a lie and offered nothing but dangerous false reassurance by these proposed laws and any government promoting them.
“There is no mystery in how best to respond to a genuine potential exposure to HIV, such as a needlestick injury, and that does not include any time wasted or misdirected attention on anybody but the person potentially exposed.
“In cases where someone faces genuine potential exposure to HIV, such as a needlestick injury, post-exposure prophylaxis medicine is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission if taken as soon as possible and within 72 hours. Additionally, all frontline workers should be protected against hepatitis B through vaccination.
“These laws fail to solve any problem, and only hinder the HIV prevention effort. Likewise, there is no evidence mandatory testing of prisoners will do anything other than further marginalise those living with HIV and other blood borne viruses. Amplifying anxiety and misplaced fear around HIV is simply the wrong thing to do.”
Media Contact available for interview
- HIV experts concerned about police use of HIV spitting laws published in Out in Perth on 25 September 2019
- WA Govt Media Statement: Proposed mandatory infectious diseases testing of prisoners who assault officers published on 18 February 2020
- HIV experts say McGowan government is ignoring science published in Out in Perth on 11 May 2020