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In Pivotal Year for Global AIDS Response, Leading Scientific, Community and Policy Experts to Highlight New Developments and Key Challenges at AIDS 2010 in Vienna

Conference Theme, Rights Here, Rights Now, Underscores Importance of Protecting Human Rights as a Prerequisite for an Effective, Evidence-based Response to HIV

Programme Will Examine HIV's Global Impacts and Allow Special Focus on the AIDS Response in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

17 March 2010 (Vienna, Austria) - Organizers of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) - to be held in Vienna, Austria from 18 to 23 July 2010 - today announced 17 major plenary presentations, focusing on the primary issues facing the global response to AIDS. Plenary speakers will open each day of the conference, where an estimated 25,000 participants will explore critical issues and next steps.

With the 2010 deadline that world leaders set for providing universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support fast approaching, conference organizers emphasized the need to stay the course as political support for financing HIV scale-up faces new challenges.

"Universal access is a commitment that wealthy nations first made to Africa and to millions of others living in low- and middle-income countries in 2005, and those of us assembling in Vienna will not watch silently as the financial resources needed to make good on that promise begin to falter," said Dr. Julio Montaner, President of the International AIDS Society and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Failing to live up to this promise will increase suffering for millions worldwide and has implications, not only for HIV, but for the broader aims of global health and development," he added.

The theme of AIDS 2010 is Rights Here, Right Now, selected by organizers to emphasize the critical connection between human rights and HIV; a dialogue begun in earnest in Mexico City in 2008.Stigma and discrimination against key affected populations make many individuals reluctant to come forward for HIV testing, to take steps to reduce the risk of transmission and to make use of available care and treatment. It also results in misguided policies and misallocated resources, as many governments are reluctant to implement scientifically sound programmes for key groups such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers. Gender discrimination also contributes to heightened vulnerability to HIV among women and girls.

"Stigma and discrimination are undermining public health," said AIDS 2010 Local Co-Chair Dr. Brigitte Schmied, President of the Austrian AIDS Society. "Failing to follow the science and to implement scientifically proven interventions, such as harm reduction, condom distribution and access to treatment and care leads to an inefficient use of resources we cannot afford," she added.

Special Focus on Regional Responses, Including Eastern Europe and Central Asia
AIDS 2010 is expected to increase awareness of the disease and its impact in all regions, including sub-Saharan Africa, home to two-thirds of the estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV at the end of 2008.

Vienna's proximity to Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), will also allow for an examination of the epidemic in that region, home to a growing epidemic with an estimated 1.5 million people living with HIV. As cases in EECA are driven primarily by injecting drug use, an important focus of the conference will be evidence-based policies and programmes for people who use illicit drugs, including harm reduction strategies. To facilitate participation by stakeholders in EECA, conference publications, as well as the website, are available in both English and Russian.

Conference Programme
The following plenary topics will set the tone for the conference programme (presentation dates and titles are subject to change).
Plenary speakers will be announced on the website in the coming weeks.

Sunday, 18 July: Panel Discussion at Opening Session: State of the Epidemic
State of the Epidemic: Human Rights and Epidemiology
State of the Epidemic: Human Rights and the Response
State of the Epidemic: Towards a Cure

Monday, 19 July
Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention
ART Advances - Into the Next Decade
HIV, Drug Policy and Harm Reduction

Tuesday, 20 July
Pathogenesis Violence Against Women and Girls
Universal Access: Treatment Scale-up

Wednesday, 21 July
Anti-HIV Drugs for Prevention
Access to Affordable and High-Quality Medicines
Political Accountability for Universal Access

Thursday, 22 July
Combination HIV Prevention: What's New?
Vertical Transmission
Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture: Human Rights

Friday, 23 July
HIV and Incarceration: Prisons and Detention
Care-Giving and Support
Hepatitis C and HIV Co-Infection

Other Sessions to Highlight Key Topics
The selected plenary topics and speakers will set the tone for a wide range of other sessions organized around three components: Science, Community, and Leadership and Accountability. The full programme is now under development, including the selection of scientific abstracts from the more than 10,000 submissions, and selection of workshops and other programme activities. Full programme details will be available on the conference website in the coming weeks, with the full programme, including all confirmed speakers, available in early June.

Programme Activities for Delegates and the General Public
AIDS 2010 will also feature a variety of activities, including many planned by and for young people as part of the official Youth Programme. Open to conference delegates and the general public, the AIDS 2010 Global Village will be a space to share lessons learned, build coalitions, and promote interactive learning among communities living with and affected by HIV. The Global Village will be held in the conference venue, Reed Messe Wien.

Expanded Online Programming Broadens Access
Reflecting a commitment to make information presented at AIDS 2010 accessible to as many people as possible, organizers will make a significant portion of the programme available online. For the first time, delegates and others will be able to follow the conference on Facebook ( ) and Twitter, as well as through a live blog during the event. Copies of speeches, slide presentations, abstracts, digital posters, session-specific and daily rapporteur reports, as well as workshop handouts and audio recordings, will also be online.

The Kaiser Family Foundation will produce webcasts of major sessions, in some cases live, which will be available for viewing via the website. Clinical Care Options, Inc. is the official online provider of scientific analysis for Vienna, with NAM providing scientific reporting.

About the AIDS 2010 Organizers
AIDS 2010 is convened by the IAS, the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, in partnership with a number of international, regional and local partners.

International partners for AIDS 2010 include:

  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), including its co-sponsors, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)
  • Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+)/International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW)
  • World YWCACaribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC)
  • Local and regional partners for AIDS 2010 include local scientific leadership and:

  • City of Vienna
  • Government of Austria
  • Aids Hilfe Wien
  • Austrian AIDS Society
  • East European & Central Asian Union of PLWH (ECUO)
  • European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS)
  • European Commission
  • For the latest information about the conference programme, information on media accreditation and registration, and to sign up for a monthly e-Update, visit

    Life Ball, Europe's largest annual AIDS charity event, will be held in Vienna on Saturday, 17 July and this year will be a celebration in solidarity with AIDS 2010 (


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    International AIDS Society
    +39 329 445 9590

    Christian Strohmann (Vienna)
    AIDS 2010
    +43 699 181 73002

    Scott Sanders (DC)
    High Noon Communications
    +1 202 332 2303

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