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AIDS 2010: The Numbers

Posted 23 July 2010, 11:45 A, by Conference Secretariat

Here are the final numbers for AIDS 2010:

• 19,300 participants, including:
      - 16,012 delegates
      - 845 participants from Austria*
      - 1,218 participants from Eastern Europe and Central Asia
      - 848 scholarship recipients
      - 1,276 media delegates
• 770  volunteers
• 197 countries represented
• 10,831 abstracts submitted, 6,238 abstracts accepted
• 248 sessions (59 non-abstract driven sessions, 79 workshops, 110 abstract-driven sessions)
• 19  plenary speeches
• 18 special sessions
• 279 Global Village activities, including 55 sessions, 95 NGO booths and 27 Networking Zones
• 151 exhibits
• 127 satellite meetings
• 10 scientific prizes and awards
• 12,324 Facebook fans, 8,420 #AIDS2010 tweets and 48 blog posts
• 71,043 visits to (since Sunday, 18 July)
• 12,725+ Vienna Declaration signatures (as of Friday, 22 July)

* Does not include general public participation in the Global Village, which is difficult to estimate.


©IAS/Marcus Rose/Workers' Photos

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Rapporteur Summaries

Posted 23 July 2010, 11:14 A, by Conference Secretariat

The AIDS 2010 rapporteurs held their Summary Session immediately before the Closing Session on Friday. All week long, rapporteurs have been “scurrying around” collecting and synthesizing presentations, according to session Chair Alan Whiteside, Director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. The rapporteurs - experienced scientists, clinicians, researchers and advocates from around the world - summarised many of the presentations made during the week, focusing on critical issues addressed, important results presented and key recommendations put forward. The rapporteur reports will be available here and in the Programme-at-a-Glance. More...

Voices from Zimbabwe at AIDS 2010

Posted 23 July 2010, 11:08 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Tears Wenzira and Patience Kunaka 

As the XVIII International AIDS Conference draws to a close in Vienna, 28-year-old Tears Wenzira ties a bright red ribbon in the last head of hair she will braid on her first trip outside of her native Zimbabwe. Back home in the Harare suburb of Chitungwiza, a typical day in the salon brings Tears approximately 25 clients; in the past four days, she estimates that she’s placed a symbolic braid with a red ribbon in more than 300 women’s hair. 

She’s part of a group of more than 2,000 hair dressers in Zimbabwe who work closely with PSI, as part of a programme, co-funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.K. Department for International Development, to prevent HIV transmission by promoting the use of female condoms to their clients. In 2009 alone, PSI sold more than 2 million female condoms, and more than 50 percent of them were distributed through a network of 1,700 hair salons across the country.  Today, Tears sells 100 female condoms per month, rendering a profit of US $4.00 – enough to buy basic groceries like bread and milk for her husband and three children, three nieces and nephews, three siblings and grandmother she cares for.

 Tears braiding hair in the Global Village.

Below, Tears and her PSI colleague Patience share their thoughts and impressions on their time at the conference. More...

Universal Access Requires Universal Support

Posted 23 July 2010, 03:51 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Billie-Jean Nieuwenhuys, Policy Officer, International AIDS Society

The universal access pledge to provide HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to all those in need by 2010 was a key focus of the XVIII International AIDS Conference. There was wide scale agreement that although the commitment will not be achieved this year, the struggle to achieve universal access needs to continue. The conference provided the opportunity to take stock of the universal access pledge and devise strategies for taking the pledge forwards beyond 2010. As Dr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS points out, “it is not a time to scale down, but to scale up.”

The key debates on reaching universal access by 2015 appear to centre around two core issues: raising the overall resource demand from international donors as well as national governments and making more effective and efficient use of the resources available now. The Deputy President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe stated that “It is our duty and responsibility to use the platforms of the G8 and the G20 to advocate for more resources and that even as the world experiences an economic downturn, investments in HIV must not be the soft target for global austerity measures." More...

Recreate AIDS 2010 Energy at Home

Posted 22 July 2010, 08:24 P, by Conference Secretariat

The hubs team, Marc-Olivier Roux and Emilia Akulenko

Are you interested in keeping the AIDS 2010 momentum going after you return home? Bring the excitement of the conference to people in your community by organizing a hub event. You can use the archived webcasts, slide shows and other reports and documents to create your own mini-conference. For more information on how to organize a hub, click here.

Learn more about the online resources or watch a video on what other hub sites have done. The hubs team will be traveling to Moscow and Kiev next week to meet with participants of two of the official AIDS 2010 hub sites. Contact them at for additional ideas!

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The Bicycle Tales...

Posted 22 July 2010, 03:06 P, by Conference Secretariat

Bicycles, cars, planes and hot-air balloons – that’s what it took Surya Prakash Makarla and Muntasir Mamum Imran to make their way from Mexico to Austria during AIDS Ride 2010, an affiliated event of AIDS 2010. Two hundred participants covered a combined total of 6,000 miles on their 23-day journey that was meant to symbolically connect Mexico City, the AIDS 2008 host city, with Vienna, host of AIDS 2010.

(c)IAS/Marcus Roset/Workers' Photos

Along the way, participants visited approximately 80 locations, bringing AIDS education and prevention messages to 3,000 people. Makarla, who organized the event along with his brother Imran, said the ride served as a reminder to the communities they passed through of the commitments and promises made in Mexico City. The goal of AIDS Ride 2010 was to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and counter stigma and discrimination, thereby promoting the AIDS 2010 conference theme Rights Here, Right Now. AIDS Ride 2010 is the second long-distance journey the organizers have made, having biked from Toronto, Canada (host of AIDS 2006) to Mexico City in 2008. More...

First Lady of Georgia Signs Vienna Declaration

Posted 22 July 2010, 07:04 A, by Conference Secretariat

 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

The First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Roelofs, today endorsed the Vienna Declaration witha crowd of media, Dr. Evan Wood, Founder of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy and one of the authors of the declaration, and Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, looking on. 

The declaration – the official declaration of AIDS 2010 – is a scientific statement seeking to address the HIV epidemic among persons who inject drugs, among other harms, through the incorporation of scientific evidence into drug policies.  The Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Irakli Giorgobiani, and the Deputy Chairman of Parliament of Georgia, George Tsereteli, also signed the declaration.

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Seshu: The Reality of a “Rights-based Approach”: SANGRAM

Posted 22 July 2010, 05:17 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Meena Saraswathi Seshu, General Secretary of Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha. Seshu delivered the Jonathan Mann Memorial Lecture at AIDS 2010.

The phrase “rights-based approach” flows easily into the speaking points and materials of many organizations and even governments when they talk about meeting the challenge of HIV.  This is a good thing if the phrase really means something.  But I am concerned that “rights-based approach” loses its meaning when people think that it’s a matter of just inviting affected people to a meeting, or speaking kindly of them, or even just dropping the phrase “rights-based” into a mission statement.

Kothis and transgender sex workers of SANGRAM in west India.

In my plenary speech, I will recount the story of our work in SANGRAM as an example of confronting HIV with human rights as a real – and not just rhetorical – everyday guide to action.  There was nothing easy about our effort to make human rights more than an abstract framework, but achieving this goal is feasible.  I know that we have learnt lessons that can benefit HIV work in many settings and cultures.

The journey of our struggle is too rich to describe in this short blog, but let me try to highlight a few key elements. More...

AIDS 2010 Delegates March for Human Rights

Posted 21 July 2010, 05:56 P, by Conference Secretariat

By Tyrone Hall, Vienna Youth Force Youth Journalist and Graduate Student at Clark University, United States

Thousands of delegates attending the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) and local residents marched last night to call for human rights to be included as a fundamental component of efforts to prevent new infections and provide treatment for people living with HIV.

The march echoed the theme of the conference, Rights Here, Right Now, through chants, vuvuzelas and singing of some well-coined phrases and tunes. The march culminated in a concert laced with spirited speeches and a captivating performance by Annie Lennox.

(c)IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

The messages echoed during the march were varied but connected by one common cause: justice for all. Some groups called for greater respect to be extended to members of the LGBT community in parts of the world where stigma has made the fight against AIDS nearly impossible, particularly among men who have sex with men. Other groups called for the examination of the rights of women in the context of HIV, especially in light of the positive microbicide trial results released Monday. Several groups also called for greater resources to be put into treatment and programmes for drug users. More...

Towards a Cure: HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them

Posted 21 July 2010, 12:30 P, by Conference Secretariat

By Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, IAS Governing Council Member and President of the International Scientific Advisory Board of ANRS and Richard Jefferys, TAG, Coordinator, Michael Palm Basic Science, Vaccines & Prevention Project

From 16 to 17 July, immediately prior to the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), the International AIDS Society held a workshop addressing the critically important subject of moving beyond antiretroviral therapy and addressing HIV persistence. Towards a Cure: HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them was co-sponsored by the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS), Bundesministirium fur Wissenschaft und Forschung (BMWFa), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Sidaction and Treatment Action Group (TAG).

 Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Workshop Chair

As eloquently described by Sharon Lewin in an opening plenary (at 1hr 55 mins), the push to make curing HIV infection a research priority is motivated by several factors. The success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has brought the life expectancy of HIV-positive people very close to that of their HIV-negative counterparts, but in most studies a slight difference is still observed. And while HAART has revolutionized HIV care, it remains imperfect, coming with a range of possible complications that can impair quality of life. Furthermore, the cost of delivering life-long HAART to all who need it will eventually consume a daunting proportion of aid budgets. More...