The final day’s plenary sessions were presentations based on the theme Building Bridges for the Next Generation. One of the presentations was by Reina Buijs from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs presenting “Mr Blue and other Dutch lessons in love” on the importance of comprehensive sexuality education for children and adolescents.
Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) continue to remain an important aspect for people living with HIV and their healthcare providers. The session discussed the basics of DDIs, pregnancy and DDIs and three interactive patient cases in diverse settings and was presented by several experts in the area (some of whom are involved in the Liverpool HIV interactions website).
In a powerful presentation, Dr David Malebranche gave his talk titled “Making the Treatment Cascade work in Vulnerable and Key populations” in the plenary session on Day 4 of the conference. Watch the video here.
Prior to Dr Malebranche’s presentation, there was a video-link from another location in which the Co-chair of the conference Professor Peter Reiss, was attempting to light a cauldron with the Positive Flame (in honour of being 90 years since the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and also having the AIDS Conference in Amsterdam). However AIDS activists from key populations stormed the room and prevented Prof Weiss from lighting the conference through protest (he eventually did after some time).
On Day 2 of the conference, I sat in on a session named PassTheMic: Meaningful youth participation in the fight against HIV.
The session was an open discussion involving eleven young people from around the globe and was moderated by actress, Charlize Theron. It was interesting to hear the views and experiences of young people from around the world in regards to HIV and their sexual health. Some of the young people on the panel were representing youth organisations from Amsterdam Youth Force, Teenergizer and Youth Against AIDS.
I attended my first AIDS Conference in 2014 when Melbourne was given the honour of hosting the conference. I was a PGY2 resident in Canberra Hospital completing an Emergency term and had used my educational leave to volunteer at the conference. Excited about going to Melbourne, I honestly didn't know much about the conference.
I was enthralled by the palpable excitement and energy of the conference. There was a collective enthusiasm from the thousands of delegates attending from areas of human-rights advocacy, different communities affected by HIV, researchers and clinicians sharing their knowledge and experience in supporting those living with HIV and working together to end HIV and AIDS. It led me to understand the global impact of HIV and AIDS and I left wanting to learn more about HIV medicine. I quickly signed up for an ASHM s100 HIV prescriber course that same year.