AIDS 2014Sir Bob Geldof, the famous Irish singer-songwriter, actor and anti-poverty activist, took to the podium at the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) on Thursday, July 23, to harshly criticize first-world governments for their “preposterous reluctance” to fund HIV programs in the developing world, according to a press release from the conference, which is taking place this week in Melbourne, Australia, and is organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS).
The punk rock star, who currently serves as an adviser to the ONE campaign (an organization that helps fight poverty in Africa and was founded by fellow Irishman, Bono), said wealthy nations must stop reneging on their foreign aid commitments if they want to finally stop the HIV epidemic.

Geldof’s speech set the theme of the conference’s fourth day, which was “Making the long term short” and featured presentations about fast-tracking the global HIV response. Issues discussed included speeding up the development of an HIV vaccine, advancing new HIV prevention strategies, and improving research and engagement with transgender women and men who have sex with men around the world.

In addition, representatives from Russia, Lithuania and Moldova spoke about the escalating HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Other sessions of the day explored a range of topics, such as: HIV transmission and coinfections in prison, working with pharmaceutical companies to ensure access to HIV treatment, sexual health strategies in Islamic countries, and building support for HIV-positive people in the workforce.

To read the full press release from day four of AIDS 2014, click here.

To check out POZ’s continuing coverage of AIDS 2014, click here.