Dr Kevin De Cock delivered an insightful keynote lecture which has set the tone for what should be a very valuable conference.
He presented the lecture titled " HIV, STIs and evolution in global health". Global health involves a a complex interplay of many different facets and although gains have been made in some areas, there is still unfinished business to contend with. These include finding a cure for HIV, vaccine development for HIV, TB and malaria and shorter answer simpler treatments for TB.
In terms of STIs there are changes and goals to be achieved. This was highlighted with the numbers of cases of syphilis, rising in the US since 2001. Of these increased numbers the majority of those affected are men, particularly MSM. Rate of congenital syphilis have risen by 35% ( did I hear that right?!) since 2013. What are we doing to decrease this burden? How did this happen? Is screening for syphilis occurring where the burden is highest?
Clearly there is no easy solution to these issues however it was concluded the forging alliances, stronger networks, deeper epidemiology and stronger science are part of the answer.
A very thought provoking keynote lecture....