International AIDS conference
The current Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa is a steep escalation from the smaller eruptions that used to characterise this virus. Ancient diseases such as this one are adept at taking advantage of our increased global mobility to spread themselves.
Turning this around requires greater international leadership, political commitment and will, tireless health and human rights advocacy, and a scale-up (rather than down) in donor support for the countries most in need. Only then can we begin to seriously talk about a world without AIDS.
I think all of us who have attended an International AIDS Conference in some capacity will agree that events of this kind are few and far between. I go to many conferences both as a delegate and speaker and nothing rivals the pure energy, colour and emotion that International AIDS conferences bring to the people that attend them, in the first instance and secondly, to the cities that host them...
I'm writing this at the tail end of what has been a hectic but extraordinarily energising week on the path to AIDS2014 - I know it's only October 2013 but it is certainly apparent already to me and my colleagues both here in Australia and at the IAS Secretariat in Switzerland that there is already a groundswell of momentum building ahead of the event.
Before we even know it, those of us working in the field of global health are well and truly going to be caught up in the debate around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose target end-date is 2015.
Every two years the International AIDS Conference rolls around and every two years I always start the week by referring to it as a bit of a jamboree. The conference is the world's largest gathering of experts, activists, people living with HIV and policy makers.
Could the end of Aids really be within our reach? There is a sense of renewed optimism that the future prospects for finding