The International AIDS Conference officially kicked off on Sunday, 20th July 2014 in what can be tagged a sombre ceremony. A minute silence was observed for HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates who were killed when MH17 was missiled down on July 17th, 2014.
After honoring the dead , opening remarks and keynote addresses were given, which set the tone for the 5 days deliberation on global HIV/AIDS response. In order to keep you informed , we have compiled some excerpts from the first day of the Conference:
“My wish is that we continue to be inspired by these wonderful people” –Lambert Grijns (Dutch Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & HIV/AIDS)
“We dedicate #AIDS2014 to our slain colleagues” – Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine)
“We need to step up the pace, Let’s show the world that neither brutality nor hatred can stop us” – Francoise Barre-Sinoussi
“HIV cannot be solved by Science alone. We need people living with HIV in response” – Ayu Oktariani
“All people living with HIV must be treated with respect and dignity as human beings” – Ayu Oktariani
“Even a single child born with HIV means we need to do more” – Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)
“My vision for ending AIDS- voluntary testing and treatment reaching everyone everywhere”– Michel Sidibe (UNAIDS Executive Director)
“Now more than ever, we must concentrate our resources where most needed”– Michel Sidibe (UNAIDS Executive Director)
“I am calling for the end to AIDS by 2030” – Michel Sidibe (UNAIDS Executive Director)
“We must stop hypocrisy and promote sexual and reproductive health and rights” – Michel Sidibe (UNAIDS Executive Director)
“We need universal sexual and reproductive health education” – Michel Sidibe (UNAIDS Executive Director)
“There is simply not enough barbed wire in our world for quarantine to protect us against HIV” – Honorable Michael Kirby
“There is no place for Stigma and Discrimination”– Warren Truss (Deputy Prime Minister of Australia)
“We must continue to invest, innovate, collaborate and partner with Communities” – Sharon Lewin
Also worthy of mention is : Tanzanian Yohan Haule created the official logo (Footprints) of the IAC 2014 and Mr. Paul Semugoma won the Elizabeth Taylor Human Rights award.
We will bring you updates from the conference as it progresses.