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Triangle Global Health Consortium Conference Keynote Address

by on September 22, 2014

Guest Post by Dr. Lisa Parker, Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Advisor for MEASURE Evaluation

On September 14th, representatives from over 18 institutional members of the Triangle Global Health Consortium joined together at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, NC to hear Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, present on delivering an AIDS-free generation. This was the keynote address for the 1st annual Triangle Global Health Consortium conference. The theme of the conference was Innovation in Global Health:  Bridging the innovation gap between research and implementation.

Dr. Birx began with a brief history of the epidemic and described the impact of PEPFAR programs on new HIV infections, life expectancy, and infections diverted. She then spoke about the importance of focusing programs to effectively control the epidemic and the need to do: The Right Thing, in the Right Place, at the Right Time.

The Right Thing: In order to do the right thing she described the need to prioritize activities based on high impact core interventions, for example focusing on combination prevention activities that include prevention through condom use, Anti-Retroviral Treatment, and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission.

The Right Place: She then noted the importance of determining the geographic prioritization for services and presented important service and mapping data that could aid in improving the matching of programs and disease burden. She also described key remaining disparities and the importance of leaving no groups behind such as sex workers, pediatric HIV patients, and Men who have sex with Men and focused specifically on the disparity in HIV prevalence between young men and women.

The Right Time: Dr. Birx also used data to show that an increasing HIV/AIDS epidemic is not financially sustainable and thus stressed the importance of acting now to prevent new infections in the most vulnerable and high prevalence areas in order to ensure more cost effective delivery of services, ensuring a longer term more sustainable strategy.

Indeed, Dr. Birx’s talk highlighted the theme of the conference by using HIV/AIDS as a concrete example of the importance of bridging the research and implementation gap.

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