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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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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...

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...

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...

Photos: Human Rights March

Posted 21 July 2010, 09:31 A, by Conference Secretariat

HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: Now More Than Ever! was the rallying cry shouted by thousands of people who gathered last night in the center of Vienna to march for human rights.  Here are some scenes from the march and performances.  For more photos, click here.

 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

 ©IAS/Steve Forrest/Workers' Photos

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Lancet Special Series Features Vienna Declaration Article

Posted 20 July 2010, 04:19 P, by Conference Secretariat

The Lancet released a special series on HIV in people who use drugs, including a commentary on the Vienna Declaration, the official declaration of the XVIII International AIDS Conference. The Vienna Declaration seeks to improve community health and safety by calling for the inclusion of science-based evidence in illicit drug policies in order to reduce drug-related harms, including HIV, among people who use drugs.

Other articles in the series cover issues surrounding antiretroviral therapy, opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programmes, as well as social issues, such as human rights, decriminalization, stigmatisation and imprisonment of people who use drugs.

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A Message of Solidarity from Debra Messing

Posted 17 July 2010, 06:21 A, by Conference Secretariat

By Debra Messing, actress and PSI Ambassador

As I sit in the production office of the new television pilot I am working on, I keep thinking about all of you in Vienna, including my friend Tears. My plan was to be with her – and with all of you – at the International AIDS Conference but unfortunately work has kept me away. 
Tears and I met late last year in a hair salon in the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe. To be specific, I met her at her place of work, the Black Beauty Hair Salon and Butchery. That’s right...on one side it’s a hair salon and on the other, a butcher. This program is one of the most ingenious I have seen in my time as a PSI Ambassador.  With support from UKaid, PSI developed a programme to reach vulnerable women through a nationwide network of hairdressers – 1,500 to be exact. The hairdressers double as peer educators and talk to women about HIV prevention, birth spacing, family planning and overall risk reduction. They also distribute the Care female condom.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the salon. I pictured a clinical discussion on HIV prevention and the smell of perming solution. What I found was very different. More...

Pre-Conferences Helping to Set the Stage

Posted 16 July 2010, 07:53 P, by Conference Secretariat

In the lead up to the AIDS 2010 opening on Sunday, many groups and delegates are already at work on a number of issues that will be key topics in the days ahead.

Young people from around the world gathered for the four-day Youth Pre-Conference to network and gain skills in research, advocacy and communications. For more information, visit the blogs from the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS and Y-Peer.

The International AIDS Society is sponsoring two meetings that run through Saturday. Bridging the Divide: Inter-Disciplinary Partnerships for HIV and Health Systems is bringing together participants from multiple disciplines to discuss options for leveraging HIV programming to improve health systems and other priority health conditions, as well as to highlight priority research areas. Scientists at “Towards a Cure": HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them are examining cutting edge research developments in this important area -- strategies currently being investigated to control HIV reservoirs may hold the key to a cure for HIV disease in the future. The session is chaired by IAS Governing Council Member and Nobel Laureate Francois Barre-Sinoussi and the programme is now available. More...

Anna Kournikova Joins the Vienna Express

Posted 14 July 2010, 09:38 P, by Conference Secretariat

By Amy Cartwright, Writer/Web Coordinator, AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW)

Since our last update here, the Vienna Express buses have traveled thousands of miles of tarmac and taken in the Republic of Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova, Germany, Holland, Kazakhstan and Macedonia! And, Russian tennis star and PSI Ambassador Anna Kournikova has come on board. She is urging others to join us and send a message in support of universal access.

The Vienna Express has been running for over a month now. AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW) launched this initiative in mid-June with the aim of linking together public events across Europe and Central Asia that promote solidarity with people living with HIV and universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.

Once we reach Vienna in a few days, we will bring with us thousands of messages from the people of the region that explain how the HIV response is going in their communities and what still needs to be done. We invite all conference participants to stop by our East-West Wish Tree, where you can see the wishes sent from street children in Kyrgyzstan, German activists, teenagers in Chisinau, shoppers in Old Riga, border guards in Tajikistan…to name but a few who we have met along the way! More...