20,000 Expected at XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto; More Than 12,000 Abstracts Submitted
Organizers for the 2006 XVI International AIDS Conference -- which will be held Aug. 13-18 in Toronto -- expect 20,000 attendees at the meeting, which will focus on HIV prevention, care and treatment, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 3/6). The conference theme, "Time to Deliver," will focus on the need for increased accountability on the part of stakeholders (Conference release, 3/6). The conference is convened by the International AIDS Society and hosted by the AIDS 2006 Toronto Local Host, along with co-organizers UNAIDS, the Global Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS, the International Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS, the International Council of AIDS Service Organisations and the Canadian AIDS Society (XVI International AIDS Conference Web site, 3/8). This year, the conference will implement a "two-tiered fee structure" to reduce the price for delegates from developing countries, and about 1,000 people are expected to receive financial assistance to attend the conference, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 3/6). Mark Wainberg, conference co-chair, said, "As the largest and most diverse gathering of people engaged in the global response to HIV/AIDS, AIDS 2006 will do more for AIDS education and awareness than any other single event" (Conference release, 3/6). Conference Co-Chair and IAS President Helene Gayle said, "The AIDS 2006 theme recognizes the need to accelerate scientific research while also dramatically expanding access to the knowledge and tools currently available to prevent new infections and prolong life among people living with HIV/AIDS" (Advocate, 3/7). She added, "The challenge at hand is to garner the resources and the collective will to translate existing knowledge and experience into broadly available HIV prevention and treatment programs" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 3/6). A "record number" of abstracts, more than 12,000, were submitted for consideration, according to the conference release (Conference release, 3/6). Canada hosted the International AIDS Conference in Montreal in 1989 and in Vancouver in 1996 (De Capua, VOA News, 3/6).
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