Insight, Inspiration, and Imperative: Top Eight Takeaways from AIDS 2014

From a somber beginning to a closing ceremony calling for “Stepping up the Pace on HIV & AIDS,” health, and human rights (PDF), the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) provided insight, inspiration, and imperative for the critical work ahead. Here are our top eight takeaways from AIDS 2014.

Numerous MSH staff contributed to this content. MSH staff attending the conference included: Barbara Ayotte, Gordon Comstock, Melissa Gandanzara, Rachel Hassinger, Megh Jagriti, Jonathan Jay, Scott Kellerman, Candide Tran Ngoc, Cedric Ndizeye, Christine Onyango, Chinwe Owunna, Geneva Pham, Jonathan D. Quick, Christine Rogers, Gloria Sangiwa, Johanna Theunissen, Katie Reichert, and Sam Wanamama.

How Do You Transform Global Health?

At an International AIDS Conference focused on finding new ways forward in the HIV response, universal health coverage (UHC) has emerged as a promising path. Done right, UHC reforms can make health systems more fair, strengthen healthcare access for people living with HIV, and improve the sustainability of HIV financing. But strong activism is necessary to ensure that these reforms don’t just reinforce existing inequalities.

These were the messages from MSH’s panel session on UHC and HIV, cosponsored by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. The discussion, headlined by former Australian High Court justice and human rights advocate the Hon. Michael Kirby, demonstrated the key role of HIV activists—especially people living with HIV—in making UHC work at the national and global level.

The willingness of the HIV community to engage with UHC efforts continues to grow. The UHC community must respond in kind, taking on broad lessons from the HIV response. That’s what could make UHC a transformative global health agenda in the post-Millennium Development Goal era.

Here’s what the audience—in person and online—had to say about lessons from HIV for UHC: