The leadership demonstrated by the State of California in bidding for AIDS 2020 is unparalleled. We received 33 letters of support from local AIDS organizations, local key population networks, leading activists and political leaders, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the Governor of California, and the leaders of the State Legislature’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus. Each of these leaders committed themselves to supporting the mission of the conference.
Additionally, San Francisco has agreed to waive the cost of the conference venue to ensure affordable access to the meeting for delegates from around the world. Local partners are also helping to secure low-cost accommodation by partnering with universities, hotels and hostels.
In December 2017, the IAS’s Governing Council selected San Francisco and Oakland as the joint hosts of AIDS 2020 because we are concerned about the retreat from executive leadership on AIDS in the US. The US Government plays a vitally important role in addressing the epidemic both globally and domestically, and yet, year after year, we see attempts to dismantle and de-fund these programmes. In its bid, the State of California and the cities of San Francisco and Oakland have jointly shown their willingness to resist these changes in partnership with conference organizers.