Gilead Sciences held the first UK HIV Age Positively conference this month at Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) House in London.
THE conference saw Future Thinker innovators collaborate with HIV experts to address key challenges facing the ageing HIV population.
The Future Thinker speakers, including Dr Brian Beach (International Longevity Centre UK), Julie Bretland (Our Mobile Health), Matthew Taylor (RSA), Dr Andy Ustianowski (leading infectious diseases consultant) and Marion Wadibia (NAZ), highlighted that new and unprecedented challenges are emerging as we enter the first generation of people living a normal life expectancy with HIV.
The speeches combined insights from both outside and inside the HIV space emphasising that innovative and bold approaches are needed to meet challenges facing us today.
As part of the HIV Age Positively programme, nine organisations were grant funded to pursue projects based on areas where innovation is needed the most.
The organisations to receive a grant were: Age UK Lambeth, NHS Grampian, Africa Advocacy Foundation, Organisation of HIV Positive African Men, Waverley Care, Positively UK, Sophia Forum, Mildmay Mission Hospital and HIV Scotland.
Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercialises innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need, aims to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide.
Hilary Hutton-Squire, General Manager of Gilead UK & Ireland, said: “The aim of the HIV Age Positively programme is to bring together new perspectives to encourage innovation in HIV. At Gilead, we are always challenging ourselves to deliver more for our patients, and we are proud to be a leading expert in the field. We are seeing the first generation of people with HIV living a normal life expectancy, so now is the time to take action to push the boundaries of what it means to live well, and age well.
“The speakers at the HIV Age Positively Conference reiterated that there is drive and enthusiasm for innovative approaches, and we must work together to ensure progress for people living with HIV does not stall.”
Dr Brian Beach, Senior Research Fellow of the International Longevity Centre UK, added: “I have worked to find solutions to address the impact of an ageing society for over a decade. The HIV Age Positively programme addresses key concerns for people living and ageing with HIV, and the Conference provided opportunities for the lively exchange of ideas across industries, organisations, individuals and groups involved in ageing, healthcare innovation, and HIV.
“I am proud to support an initiative that promotes cross-functional and cross-industry collaboration for better patient outcomes for the ageing population, recognising the diverse needs within this group”.