23 July 2012 - The 19th International AIDS Conference 2012 opened yesterday in Washington DC, with the theme for this year being "Turning the tide together".
The theme emphasizes how response to HIV has reached a defining moment, with renewed optimism that a change of course in the epidemic is possible. It evokes the scale of the task ahead but also urges everyone to join forces, build and sustain the momentum to turn the tide on HIV and AIDS.
UNODC will participate in this year's conference by organizing a session entitled "Turning the Tide? Not without prisons" on 25 July, showcasing the importance of addressing the HIV epidemic in a comprehensive manner. During this session, UNODC will launch a policy brief entitled "HIV prevention, treatment and care in prisons and other closed settings: a comprehensive package of interventions". The Office will also present a discussion paper entitled "Technical guide to HIV prevention, treatment and care services".
On Thursday 26 July UNODC will participate in a satellite session organized by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities entitled " The Overlap of HIV, Key Populations and Psycho-Stimulant Drugs " ; and on Friday 27 July in a bridging session entitled " Balance Between Justice System and Provision of Services" . In addition UNODC will participate in the exhibition area at the common UNAIDS cosponsors' booth.
As a co-sponsor of UNAIDS, UNODC works to assist Member States to provide people who use drugs, prisoners and people vulnerable to human trafficking with evidence-informed comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and care services. In prison settings, UNODC helps Member States to ensure that the kind of health care and HIV/AIDS prevention and care services available to prisoners is equivalent to those available in the general population.
The International AIDS Conference is the premier global gathering for people working in the field of HIV, policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. The Conference, organized by the International AIDS Society, brings together more than 20,000 delegates, including 2,000 journalists, from nearly 200 countries to translate recent advances into action that will address means to end the epidemic, within the current context of significant global economic challenges.
The Global Village, a key attraction at the conference, offers a diverse and vibrant space for displays, discussions and performances from all over the world. With free admission, the village is open to the general public and conference delegates. Of particular interest this year are two networking zones - "Harm Reduction & Drug Policy: Taking Drug Users Seriously" and " Justice in Prisons: Health Access, Treatment and Prevention".