AIDS 2020: Virtual was the 23rd annual convening of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS conference. This year, the five-day International AIDS Conference was an online-only gathering of people from more than 170 countries. Richard Marlink, director of Rutgers Global Health Institute, presented as part of a satellite session titled “The ‘Graying’ of the HIV Epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa: How can we integrate non-communicable disease management, and are we ready?” The session also featured a live panel discussion on July 8.
Marlink’s presentation, “Cancer Care and Prevention in HIV Care and Prevention Settings in Southern Africa,” addressed the challenges and opportunities associated with integrating cancer control into HIV settings in the region.
View Marlink’s Presentation and the Full Session
Note: Marlink’s presentation begins at 25:17 in the video player.
He discussed the context in Botswana, where he has focused much of his work. Marlink referred to the country’s lack of cancer care and prevention awareness as similar to the early days of the AIDS pandemic, when there was great stigma and fear of being diagnosed HIV-positive.
Marlink outlined factors contributing to cancer outcome disparities in African and developing country settings, where access to comprehensive cancer care and prevention is severely limited. A major influence in Botswana, he said, is that the country’s health system is not currently capable of providing coordinated, multidisciplinary cancer treatment and supportive care.
“The multidisciplinary team approach is harder in developing country health systems, but not impossible,” he said. “HIV/AIDS has shown us that chronic care and team care are possible, no matter where you are in the world.”
The session was organized by Ciheb, the Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity at University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology, and moderated by Ciheb director David Riedel. Wame Jallow from Botswana’s International Treatment Preparedness Coalition and Jebet Boit from Kenya’s Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital also presented.