Progress in the global fight against HIV requires continued scientific knowledge of the diversity of epidemics and populations most at risk, implementation to scale of successful interventions, and advances towards a vaccine and a cure for HIV. The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia aims to tackle these issues by critically reflecting on the progress made over the past two years and on how to best address the needs of those Key Affected Populations (KAPs) who thus far have remained underserved while simultaneously delivering on the aspirational goal to end the AIDS epidemic. What will it take to get there? How do we increase cooperation with non-HIV science and research? How do we integrate and increase synergy with co-infections and co-morbidities? To begin to answer such questions, the AIDS 2014 Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC) has developed the following five objectives for AIDS 2014. 1. To engage, inspire, innovate and advocate-in partnership with affected communities, government, scientists, clinicians and all stakeholders-for the end of AIDS. 2. To acknowledge the role the HIV response has played in transforming global health systems over the past three decades, building on this momentum to increase funding for innovative HIV scientific research and programs;to enhance involvement of young scientists, community leaders, politicians and advocates;and to spur cross-fertilization of experience and expertise with other scientific disciplines. 3. To address and identify ways to break down the barriers that have fuelled the epidemic over the past 30 years-stigma, discrimination, and repressive government policy. 4. To focus attention on global HIV epidemic hotspots and how to scale up efforts within disproportionately affected communities and marginalized groups such as MSM, sex workers, PLWHA, transgender, PWUD, and children. 5. To foster debate around a post-2015 MDG scenario for HIV and AIDS. Meeting these aims requires integration: a conference program designed to address cutting-edge issues across disciplines and diseases while fostering participation by diverse stakeholders. We will give special attention to inclusion: meaningful engagement of KAPs in the design and delivery of the Scientific Program;broad accessibility by providing childcare and a Positive Lounge;diverse conference components such as our Global Village and Youth programs;and through a scholarship program that prioritizes support for people from resource-limited settings. Innovation will be a major priority both in the scientific program and in disseminating knowledge through remote access via advanced IT and communication links;and through conference hubs held in conjunction with AIDS 2014 by local organizations active in the AIDS response.

Public Health Relevance

AIDS 2014 will be held from 20 - 25 July 2014 in Melbourne, Australia and be dedicated to the exploration of HIV science by seeking scientific advances across the many disciplines in HIV research, and the explicit political will, commitment and necessary resources to achieve universal access to care, treatment, prevention, and support while tackling the human rights abuses, criminalization, stigma and discrimination, which continue to differentially drive HIV infections locally, regionally and globally. Addressing such concerns, AIDS 2014 will be a dynamic, interactive forum for presentation, debate and validation of the latest, state-of-the-art research, clinical, policy and program evidence that informs and guides the global response. With the venue in Australia, the conference also will be an excellent opportunity to focus attention on the Asia-Pacific, a region with the largest geographic area and population in the world, dramatically varying levels of wealth, and a complex mix of structural and behavioral determinants of HIV risk.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Research Review Committee (AIDS)
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Gutierrez, Martin
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United States
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