By Chernoh Alpha M. Bah
Monica Gandhi and Cynthia Carey-Grant have been nominated as chairpersons for the 23rd International AIDS Conference scheduled to take place in the United States in July 2020. Gandhi is an HIV researcher at University of California in San Francisco while Carey-Grant is a long-time women’s health advocate based in Oakland. The two will join the president of the International AIDS Society (IAS) president Anton Pozniak, an HIV clinician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, to pull together the annual international conference.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering on HIV and AIDS in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. Organizers says each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programs that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic.
“The conferences also serve as focal points to intensify political and financial commitments to AIDS,” they said.
The 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) will take place in San Francisco and Oakland on 6-10 July 2020. It is expected to convene nearly 20,000 delegates from more than 170 countries.
Gandhi and Carey-Grant will lead the Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC), which sets the overall conference policies and priorities, ensuring that the program pillars of community, leadership, and science are reflected across the agenda of the conference.
“You can’t tell the story of HIV in America without talking about San Francisco,” Carey-Grant said, adding that “having the International AIDS Conference in the California Bay Area provides a unique opportunity to address the global HIV disparities that are the final frontier to ending the epidemic.”
“The Bay Area is the perfect setting for the conference,” Gandhi also said, noting that they are “eager not only to share the progress made toward addressing disparities in communities, but also to convene leaders, scientists, and advocates from around the world to discuss how much more remains to be done in the movement.”
The International AIDS Conference is organized every year by the International AIDS Society (IAS). The mission of IAS is to mobilize collective action around the world towards the global HIV response through its membership base, scientific authority, and convening power. Founded in 1988, the IAS is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries working on global response to HIV.