Clinton, Gates, Elton John to address AIDS conference
by Edgar Tsimane
Organisers of AIDS 2012 say former US President Bill Clinton, philanthropist Bill Gates, humanitarian Sir Elton John and South African Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, are to address the AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C that will bring together world leading scientists between 22 and 27 July.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, (Burma) will herself address the conference by video, according to organisers.
Some 25,000 scientists, people Living with HIV, and other stakeholders are expected to attend AIDS 2012 under the theme Turning the Tide Together.
Clinton is founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation while humanitarian and musician Sir Elton John is the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Clinton will deliver keynote remarks at the closing session on Friday, 27 July while Sir Elton John will deliver a keynote a day after the beginning of the conference.
In the last few years, various research trials, including HPTN 052, TDF2, Partners PrEP, and iPrEx have demonstrated with solid evidence the efficacy of HIV treatment as prevention, while other studies are currently investigating the possibility of a cure for HIV.
“Thanks to these scientific advances, for the first time we have a real opportunity to make a major dent in the epidemic,” said organizer, Elly Katabira, International Chair of AIDS 2012 and President of the International AIDS Society (IAS).
“We are delighted to welcome the world’s leading AIDS scientists to AIDS 2012, and to have secured these high-level keynote speakers at this crucial time in the global response to HIV.”
The theme of AIDS 2012, Turning the Tide Together, has been selected to emphasize how a global and decisive commitment is crucial to change the course of the epidemic now that science is presenting promising results in HIV treatment and biomedical prevention. This biennial event is the world’s largest meeting on AIDS, said Katabira in a statement.