XVI International AIDS Conference Announces Program, Including Prominent Leaders and Scientists
The XVI International AIDS Conference, to be held Aug. 13 to Aug. 18 in Toronto, will feature a number of prominent speakers, including former U.S. President Clinton, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Crown Princess Mette-Marti of Norway, Bill and Melinda Gates and actor Richard Gere, VOA News reports (De Capua, VOA News, 6/29). The conference will highlight scientific advances, as well as current policy issues among political, scientific and community leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS. The conference, held every two years, is organized by the International AIDS Society and the Toronto Local Host. Co-organizers include: 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 Organizations and the Canadian AIDS Society. About 20,000 participants are expected to attend, and the conference will feature more than 400 sessions, meetings and workshops. The conference will include new "key challenge" focus areas to address obstacles in fighting HIV/AIDS, including accelerating research to control the epidemic, expanding human resources to boost prevention and treatment, getting affected communities more involved and building new leadership. In addition, the conference will include a youth program offering sessions for young delegates, and a new youth Web site has been created that will include interactive reports by young people. "The AIDS 2006 program is designed to harness the knowledge, skills and commitment of thousands of dedicated stakeholders from across the world," Mark Wainberg, conference co-chair and director of the McGill University AIDS Centre, said (XVI International AIDS Conference release, 6/29). Helene Gayle, IAS president, president and CEO of CARE USA and co-chair of the conference, said the conference over the years has expanded from scientific issues to include community and social issues. "As the epidemic has evolved, we've recognized that to have a true comprehensive response it has to be a multidisciplinary, multifaceted response," Gayle said, adding, "So I think the conference has expanded in the same way that our response to the epidemic has expanded and has become a much mo[r]e inclusive meeting" (VOA News, 6/29).
The conference program is now available online.
Kaisernetwork.org will serve as official webcaster of the conference. Sign up now to receive free daily email updates during the conference at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/aids2006.