AIDS 2020 Kicks Off in the Bay Area – Registration is Now Open

posted on 15/10/2019 12:00:00 AM

San Francisco and Oakland demonstrate strong collaboration and political support for the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) to be held on 6-10 July 2019.

On 1 October, organizers of the world’s largest conference on HIV and AIDS launched registration for AIDS 2020, taking place on 6-10 July 2020 in San Francisco and Oakland, California. AIDS 2020 is returning to the Bay Area after 30 years and it is the first time in history that two cities will host the International AIDS Conference simultaneously.

Key stakeholders attended an event in San Francisco on 30 September to mark the kick-off to AIDS 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, welcomed the launch event of the conference and was joined by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Mayor London Breed of San Francisco, State Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblyman Phil Ting and Assemblyman David Chiu along with supporters, clinicians and members of the local planning group.

“I hope the world is inspired that two cities have joined hands toward our mutual goal of reaching the three zeros — zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related deaths, and zero stigma and discrimination due to HIV status,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “If two cities can reach across a bay to collaborate, countries across this planet can reach across oceans and join together in this endeavor to end the epidemic.”

Bay Area politicians have a long history of supporting an inclusive, sustainable and adequately-financed HIV response. Speaker Pelosi and Congresswoman Lee have spent their careers leading the campaign for an end to this epidemic. On 7 October, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 159 into law – a bill to significantly expand access to PrEP and PEP medication in the state of California, allowing pharmacists to dispense these medications without requiring a prescription.

“This is our moment,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus. “I’m so proud of this partnership between Oakland and San Francisco. This is something that has been worked on for a long time by so many people and took a lot of heavy lifting.”

AIDS 2020 Makes Accessibility a Priority, Announces Increase in Scholarships

During the event, Conference Co-Chair Cynthia Carey-Grant announced that the International AIDS Society will significantly increase the AIDS 2020 Scholarship Programme to financially support more than 1,500 delegates attending the conference in San Francisco and Oakland.

“One of the things we are doing with this conference to ensure we get a larger number of people participating – young people, young researchers, young activists from all over the world – will be increasing our scholarships,” said Cynthia Carey-Grant, AIDS 2020 Local Co-Chair.

The scholarship programme opens applications on 1 November, 2019 and is aimed at increasing conference accessibility. It is open to anyone around the world with experience in HIV and AIDS who is at least 16 years of age at the time of the conference.

Profiles in Resilience Launched

AIDS 2020 Co-Chairs Monica Ghandi and Cynthia Carey-Grant announced the launch of the Profiles in Resilience campaign to reflect the overarching theme of the conference.

Local artists have been commissioned to create pieces of art that will feature the unique stories of individuals from around the world who are living with HIV and AIDS and those affected by the epidemic – including clinicians, activists and community members. The first campaign poster, Teamwork is Resilience by San Francisco-based artist Lil Tuffy, was released at the event.

Each month leading up to AIDS 2020, a new profile will explore key aspects of resilience – resilience in science, resilience in policy, resilience in financing, resilient communities and resilient individuals.

“We hope you find inspiration in this campaign and those who are featured in it,” said AIDS 2020 Conference Co-Chair Dr. Monica Ghandi of UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. “Be inspired by the activists pushing for the political and social change we need. Be inspired by the community of HIV survivors who continue to share their stories with us, and the groundbreaking research coming out of our own backyard. Take your inspiration and turn it into action.”