Jul 27, 2016 09:23 AM EDT
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that the world is under-prepared for challenges in fighting HIV.
Speaking at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, the philanthropist expressed the importance to accelerate response especially in African countries. He encouraged communities to use more resources for the study and prevention since the HIV infection decline rate remains stagnant.
Gates, as the co-chair of the largest philanthropic organization Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said that 'we need to up our game'. The billionaire also stated that albeit the advances in medical treatments exist today, the current efforts are not fast enough to tackle the problems. And since AIDS topic is somehow drifting away from headlines, it would risk the funds and actions to combat the infection.
The philanthropist felt the need of stronger approach and more creative ideas to help creating accessible treatments, TheNewsNigeria reported. For instance, self-testing and longer lasting medicinal supplies. However, the most important thing according to Gates, is that every person living with HIV should step forward and seek treatment.
The AIDS prevention efforts include encouraging HIV positive people to speak openly and to fight against the stigma so that they have better understanding about the disease and willingly seek treatment. Gates admitted that this could be a challenge to overcome since the difference in cultural and social backgrounds might create unique epidemic and response. However, he believed that with better treatments, it will also help to reduce the passing of virus to others.
The 21st International AIDS Conference Durban
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban discussed the efforts to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. The event lasted for five days and gathered 18,000 experts from 180 countries. Prince Harry and actress Charlize Theron were among many others who gave inspiring speeches. AIDS has killed more than a million people per year and most deaths occur in Africa.
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