The XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), the preeminent conference dedicated to HIV/AIDS, held every two years, will be returning to Washington for the first time since 1987. The conference, presented by the International AIDS Society, has not been held in the U.S. since 1990, when it was held in San Francisco, due to restrictions – since lifted – on HIV-positive visitors to the U.S. The conference is expected to attract thousands of clinicians, policy makers and others to Washington from July 22 to 27, 2012, in an effort to shape an international response to the virus.
Councilmember David Catania (I-At Large), who chairs the Committee on Health, held a roundtable discussion regarding the planning and preparation of the conference on Thursday, June 9, at the John A. Wilson Building. At the meeting, Catania requested that conference organizers formulate a strategic plan for presenting the large event.
''The AIDS 2012 conference represents a unique opportunity to not only showcase our ability to host a conference of this size, but also provides the opportunity to put the District at the forefront of efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic,'' Catania said.
''Despite the common narrative about the District's approach to HIV/AIDS, we are at the cutting edge of developing new and innovative ways to attack this epidemic.''
The conference will allow leading researchers to talk about the latest scientific advances in the study of HIV/AIDS, as well as helping advocates share what's happening locally regarding prevention efforts in the spread of HIV in D.C.
Those offering testimony at the event included Wallace Corbett, a member of the AIDS 2012 Community Coalition; Dr. Gregory Pappas, senior deputy director at the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA); and Tiffany Chester, head of the local secretariat of the International AIDS Society.
International AIDS Society Conference 2012 will be held July 22-27, 2012, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. aids2012.org.