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Key issues in 2014: HIV progress, Ebola, Medicare co-payment and consumer health. Flickr/Brian Talbot; EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo; AAP/David Hunt; www.rowenawaack.com

2014, the year that was: Health + Medicine

2014 was dominated by discussions about better ways of paying for health care. But for all the talk, little progress was made. The year began with former Howard government adviser Terry Barnes’ proposal…
We have stalked the human immunodeficiency virus from every direction science suggested. Flickr: Brian Talbot

Where to now? Future directions for HIV treatment

The future of HIV treatment bears no resemblance to its past. Through the lonely days of the early single-drug treatment AZT to the arrival of combination therapy in 1996, and the new generation of fixed-dose…
From the late 1990s, the world galvanised in support of dramatic increases in funding for the distribution of HIV treatments to all who needed them. World national flags/Shuttershock

It takes a global village: how we got ahead in HIV control

When AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s, HIV infection was a death sentence. But a global effort has ensured this is no longer the case for a growing number of people. The good news today is that the…
HIV-prevention campaigns need to do more than simply urge people to use condoms. charnsitr/Shutterstock

Five myths about HIV in Australia

Australia had a quick and effective response to HIV at the start of the epidemic. Some 30 years later, however, there’s a tendency to underestimate the sheer effort involved in maintaining HIV prevention…
HIV epidemics have grave implications for the world’s Indigenous cultures. Flickr: j h

Stepping up the HIV response in the world’s Indigenous communities

Indigenous people are estimated to comprise 4.5% of the total global population. They are often overrepresented in HIV data and recognise themselves as being particularly vulnerable to HIV. In Canada…
The Hon. Michael Kirby presenting a report on human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the UN earlier this year. EPA/Salvatore Di Nolfi

‘The law can be an awful nuisance in the area of HIV/AIDS’: Michael Kirby

Watch the Honourable Michael Kirby, visiting professorial fellow at UNSW Australia, talk about how the law impacts HIV below. Michael Kirby is a former justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from…
A coloured electron micrograph image of HIV infecting a human cell. Flickr: NIAID

We need a cure for HIV but there’s still a long way to go

One of the greatest success stories in modern medicine is that HIV is no longer a death sentence, but a chronic, manageable disease that often can be managed with a single tablet a day. Antiretroviral…
Polic trainers Jones Blantri from Ghana and Lam Tien Dung from Vietnam with, Professor Nick Crofts and former Seattle police chief Jim Pugel at the launch of the report. International AIDS Society/ James Braund

Discretionary policing has a role controlling HIV: report

Watch the video of Professor Nick Crofts talking about the report To Protect and Serve: How Police, Sex Workers, and People Who Use Drugs Are Joining Forces to Improve Health and Human Rights below. Professor…
Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (centre) speaks at the opening ceremony of AIDS2014 on July 20 while conference co-chair Professor Sharon Lewin looks on. AAP Image/David Crosling

In Conversation with Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Watch the video of Professor Rob Moodie talking to Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi below. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is the director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit, at the Institut Pasteur…
Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club – but films about the contemporary experience of life with HIV/AIDS are in short supply. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

HIV/AIDS on screen: by focusing on history, we ignore the present

Consider the last three major films gracing our screens that explicitly deal with HIV/AIDS – the Academy Award-winning, highly acclaimed Dallas Buyers Club in 2013, followed by Ryan Murphy’s much-hyped…
Joep Lange (right) with Praphan Phanuphak and David Coope. Kirby Institute

Joep Lange: a brave HIV researcher, a great friend and colleague

Dutch professor of medicine Joep Lange and his partner Jacqueline van Tongeren were among the 298 people who perished in Malaysia Airlines flight 17 after it was struck down on the Russian-Ukraine border…
Despite the increase in HIV diagnoses, media coverage of this important health issue remains patchy and sensationalist. Flickr: Tom

Media reports of HIV can be part of the problem – or the solution

Research has shown that if used effectively, the media can play an important role in lessening fear and stigma about HIV – the biggest obstacles to seeking information and treatment about the disease…
In most developed countries, including Australia, gay and bisexual men dominate numbers of new HIV infections. Aleksandar Stojkovic/Flickr

Know the epidemic: responding to HIV in three key communities

The number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia remains the highest in 20 years, according to data released today by UNSW’s Kirby Institute. While rates have remained stable over the past two years, the number…
Maintaining a steady pace of scientific discoveries and breakthroughs is critical for HIV prevention and treatment. Alba Campus/Flickr

Five promising steps forward in HIV science

The field of HIV treatment and prevention has been freshly energised by the findings from several recent clinical trials. Maintaining the momentum of scientific discoveries and breakthroughs is critical…
Indonesia’s status as a middle-income country has made it ineligible to receive funding even though it’s not ready or able to take over. EPA/JURNASYANTO SUKARNO

Too soon for rich countries to stop HIV funding in poor ones

The global HIV epidemic has been unprecedented, both in its extent and in the way it has changed the world’s approach to health funding. Over the last ten to 15 years, large sums of money have for the…
Prevention messages and consistent condom use have broken the nexus between sex work and HIV transmission in Australia. publik16/Flickr

HIV in Australia: we’ve come a long way but there’s more to do

In the three decades since the virus was identified, Australia has done well by international standards in keeping HIV infection rates down. But certain aspects of our national approach continue to risk…

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