Lens
 
International AIDS Society

Words of Welcome from the Co-Chairs



Dear Colleagues,

The return of the International AIDS Conference to the United States in July 2012 represents a significant victory for public health and human rights. The selection of Washington, D.C. as the site for the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) is the result of years of dedicated advocacy to end the nation’s misguided entry restrictions on people living with HIV – restrictions that were based on fear, rather than science.

The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policymakers, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It will be a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.

AIDS 2012 is expected to convene more than 20,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, including 2,000 journalists. The conference will be held from 22 to 27 July 2012 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The International AIDS Society, the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with 14,000 members in 190 countries, will organize AIDS 2012 in collaboration with our international and local partners.

We are gratified by the enthusiastic support expressed by our U.S. government and civil society partners for holding AIDS 2012 in Washington, D.C. The world’s leading AIDS experts will gather for AIDS 2012 in a community deeply impacted by the epidemic, providing a tremendous opportunity for partnership and exchange that will further sow the seeds of solidarity among all of us dedicated to ending this scourge. The selection of Washington, D.C., as the AIDS 2012 venue is also significant as it is home to key players in the global response to AIDS, including the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (which directs PEPFAR – President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), the National Institutes of Health and the World Bank.

AIDS 2012 will play a key role in shaping international responses to this devastating epidemic. As with all our conferences, we will work with partners to make sure that the conference has a deep and lasting impact in our host city and country. We look forward to partnering with the residents of Washington, D.C., and with other groups across the U.S. to ensure the conference further strengthens the U.S. role in global AIDS initiatives, re-energizes the response to the U.S. domestic epidemic, and focuses attention on the particularly devastating impact HIV is having in Washington, D.C., and in racial and ethnic minority communities across the U.S.

Elly Katabira, MD
International Chair
President, International AIDS Society
Professor of Medicine, 
Makerere University
Kampala, Uganda
  Diane Havlir, MD 
US Co-Chair
Professor of Medicine, Chief of HIV/AIDS Division
University of California, 
San Francisco, CA, USA