Next week, members of the global HIV community will convene in Durban, South Africa for the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016).
More than 18,000 people – scientists, public health experts, policy makers and members of the HIV-affected community – from across the globe are expected to participate in the conference, which opens on Monday, July 18 and continues through Friday, July 22, 2016. Over 500 sessions, workshops, and program activities are planned focusing on all facets of advancing our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issues in the world. There is much excitement about the conference returning to Durban, which first hosted the biennial meeting in 2000. That conference served as a catalyst for global treatment advocacy and access. Much progress has been made since then; with 16 million people living with HIV around the world now on treatment, the rates of AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections have fallen.
Gathering this year under the theme “Access Equity Rights Now,” the conference will be a call to action to work together and reach the people who still lack access to comprehensive treatment, prevention, care and support services.
The conference is chaired by two people:
AIDS 2016 International Chair
President, International AIDS Society
Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Bloomberg School of Public Health,
The Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
AIDS 2016 Local Co-Chair
CEO of the South African Human Sciences
Research Council (HSRC),
Honorary Professor at the University
of Cape Town, South Africa,
Chair of the South African BRICS Think Tank
This is the second time that Durban will be hosting the International AIDS Conference, having hosted the XIII International AIDS Conference in 2000 under the theme Breaking the Silence. That conference was the first to take place in a developing country and enormously helped to change the approach to global public health. AIDS 2000 was a real watershed in the history of the HIV epidemic. Holding the conference in Durban will undoubtedly have a deep and lasting impact on one of the most important challenges of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
With policy and science evolving at a rapid pace, opportunities for education, networking and the promotion of best practice are critical to enhance the global response to AIDS. Through its renowned conferences, the IAS provides an essential forum for a broad spectrum of HIV professionals to share their expertise and real-world experiences, and identify remaining knowledge gaps.
The IAS organizes the world’s two most prestigious HIV conferences, each convened biennially in alternating years. The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, this conference continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science and advocacy, and an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes to ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic. The conference also serves as a focal point to intensify political and financial commitments to AIDS. Additionally, the IAS provides the largest international HIV conference scholarship programme, to ensure those living with and affected by the disease are well-represented at the gathering. The next International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) will be held in Durban, South Africa (18-22 July 2016).
The IAS Conference on HIV Science features the latest HIV science, including basic, clinical and prevention research. It brings together a broad cross section of HIV professionals from around the world with a focus on implementation – moving scientific advances into practice. The next conference (IAS 2017) will take place in Paris, France (July 2017).