Here are the final numbers for AIDS 2012:
- 23,767 participants, including:
- 17,066 delegates
- 1,904 media delegates
- 12,042 participants from the U.S.
- 851scholarship recipients
- 991 volunteers
- 183 countries represented
- 12,433 abstracts submitted, 3,837 abstracts accepted (including late breakers)
- 194 sessions (84 non-abstract driven sessions, 60 workshops, 110 abstract-driven sessions)
- 19 plenary speeches
- 14 special sessions
- 265 Global Village activities
- 210 exhibits
- 185 satellite meetings
- 9 scientific prizes and awards
- 85,608 #AIDS2012 tweets (Sunday, 22 July – Friday, 27 July)
- 14,475 downloads of the AIDS 2012 mobile app
- 77,945 visits to www.aids2012.org (Sunday, 22 July – Friday, 27 July)
- US$27 000 in carbon offsets
By Whoopi Goldberg, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
I have been speaking out on behalf of people living with HIV before we even knew exactly what AIDS was, and I have always had a special concern for children affected by the epidemic. I hope to see a world where every child is born HIV-negative and no child dies from an HIV-related cause.
Recently I have come to realize that we are neglecting a major issue and one that really impacts kids. That issue is tuberculosis – TB for short. It’s the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, even though it’s preventable and curable! To me, this is an outrage and what is more devastating is the impact TB has on children in communities affected by HIV. People living with HIV are much more likely to develop TB than people free of HIV infection. More...
By Elaine Seeskin
Clinical Care Options HIV marks its sixth year as the official partner of the International AIDS Society (IAS) for online scientific analysis for IAS-convened conferences. Edward King, MA, Vice President of Editorial for Clinical Care Options, and I have led this initiative and are excited to be here as international investigators and policy makers explore how to turn the tide of the international epidemic.
As the International AIDS Conference returns to the United States for the first time in more than two decades, we find ourselves in the midst of rapid changes in the field. Our expert faculty members, Susan Buchbinder, MD; Joel E. Gallant, MD, MPH; Jean B. Nachega, MD, PhD; and Ian M. Sanne, MBBCH, FCP(SA), have carefully reviewed the scientific programme and identified the most clinically significant presentations across a wide range of topics, including clinical trials of antiretroviral agents, prevention, primary infection, cost-effectiveness of therapy, and health disparities in receiving services. During the week, our Web site rolled out Expert Highlights (audio podcasts by faculty summarizing and commenting on data), Capsule Summaries (expertly synopsized data from specific scientific reports), and a comprehensive PowerPoint slideset summarizing the selected studies. Later, the slideset will be reposted with added analysis from Drs. Gallant and Sanne included as slidenotes and certified for continuing education credit. More...
By Cheryl Overs, Senior Research Fellow, Michael Kirby Centre, Monash University
Last year I was refused boarding at Heathrow to go to the U.S., seemingly because there was information “on the system” that said I was a person of moral turpitude. I say seemingly because I don’t really know. U.S. immigration doesn’t explain its decisions. What we do know is that anyone who has worked in the sex industry, even in a legal capacity and even decades ago can be prohibited from entering the U.S. That is enough to make it very dangerous for sex workers to come to the International AIDS Conference by obtaining a visa without admitting to having been involved in the sex industry. So we hatched the idea of a conference hub in Kolkata, amid much debate about the politics of compromise. Those debates will no doubt continue through the conference, and I was delighted to be invited to give a plenary presentation to contribute to them. I am also pleased to have had a visa granted, because I am a person of high moral standing on any analysis and any slur on that is difficult to live with. More...
By International HIV/AIDS Alliance Key Correspondent Prakash Tyagi from India
It has been said and proven time and again that HIV and AIDS are not solely medical problems, but have deep social and economic links, consequences and implications. Over the years, the Global Village at the International AIDS Conference has been a platform for communities, activists and practitioners representing diversity and solidarity.
The Global Village at AIDS 2012 opened up on Monday 22 July. At more than 190,000 square feet the Global Village, it is the largest to date. There are 90 countries participating with over 120 booths and a wide range of activities and information.
At the opening, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, described the Global Village as the “real heart” of the conference and the space for the exchange of ideas. “The end of AIDS is not free. It is not too expensive.More...
By Debra Messing, PSI Ambassador
Eight years ago when my son Roman Walker was born, I decided to name him after Paul Walker, my acting coach – one of the most influential, special people in my life. Eleven years prior, Paul died of AIDS complications. His death devastated me, and from that day on I vowed I would do whatever I could to honor him and help others affected by HIV and AIDS.
This week, as I participate in AIDS 2012 in Washington, D.C. I feel Paul next to me. What comforts and inspires is the knowledge that an AIDS-free generation is actually within reach. Thanks to the remarkable work of scientists, doctors, nurses, NGOs, companies, policymakers, and journalists from around the world – many of whom I have had the privilege of meeting here at AIDS 2012 – we are moving ever closer to this goal. More...
By Yahir Zavaleta, HIV Programme Director, Espolea
When we were first informed of the selection of Espolea as a recipient of the Red Ribbon Award (RRA), we were jumping up and down with excitement. We then realized the many young people that we still need to impact and all those that we haven’t reached out to just yet. We thought of the unfinished activities, the passionate discussions with other organizations and policy makers, and the never sufficient workshops with peers. We were happy but also realized the long path that still lies before us.
As every two years, UNAIDS (UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS) and other partners, recognize outstanding community leadership and actions in the response to HIV and AIDS. This year, Espolea has the honor of standing between nine other organizations including The Help (Myanmar), Foundation SEROvie (Haiti), Afraye Sabz Association (Iran), Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (Kenya), Positive Women’s Network (Sri Lanka), Patients in Control (Russia), Delhi Network of Positive People (India), Giramatsiko Post Test Club (Uganda), and the Global Youth Coalition against AIDS (Egypt). More...
By International HIV/AIDS Alliance Key Correspondent Thuletu Tikili Hanene from Zambia
Most of us in Africa remember the time when the AIDS Memorial Quilt was used as a tool to highlight the personal grief people who had lost loved ones to AIDS felt in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. For me personally that’s when I believe the tide started turning as it marked the beginning of people in West taking note of the destruction that AIDS was leaving in affected populations not only in the USA but in Africa as well.
In June of 1987, a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died due to AIDS related illnesses, and to help people understand the devastating impact of HIV. This meeting of devoted friends and lovers served as the foundation for a project that came to be known as the Name’s Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. More...
By Martin Bloem, Chief of Nutrition and HIV Policy, U.N. World Food Programme
“We believe that after six months, our patients will have become strong so they can go back and do their usual work,” said Esther Oduli, a social worker in Western Kenya whose organization, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), works closely with the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP).
Together, AMPATH and WFP provide people living with HIV with the care, treatment and support they need. When people come to AMPATH for HIV treatment, they also receive food and nutrition support from WFP for themselves and their families if they are malnourished or food insecure. This support helps patients recover their health, incentivizes people to come for and adhere to their treatment and promotes long-term treatment success. More...
By Victoria Lintsova, Ukraine
On 9 and 10 July, I had a great opportunity to participate in the AIDS Forum “Ensuring That Our Voice Is Heard”, and for me even the title of the meeting communicated its intentions from the beginning – to strengthen the involvement of the community of drug users in decision-making processes at the country and international levels in the context of HIV and drug policy programmes.
I arrived at Irpen in the evening on 8 July, there were many people from Russia, Georgia, the Baltic States, Belarus at the hotel, and I immediately plunged into the atmosphere of a very special dimension, where drug users are legal and accepted, the word "narkoman" (drug user) there had a different meaning. It meant my peculiarity, rather than a defect or disadvantage. More...