On World AIDS Day, local meetings and hospitality industry officials announced that they had secured the XIX International AIDS Conference for Washington, DC. In a press conference held yesterday at the White House, the International AIDS Society announced DC’s selection as the location of AIDS 2012, the premier biennial global gathering for those working in the field of HIV research, policymakers, and activists. The conference will take place July 22-27, 2012.
“It is an honor to serve as host for the 2012 International AIDS Conference,” said Greg O’Dell, president and CEO of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority. “AIDS is a crisis in the world community, and the convergence of 30,000 delegates from all over the world on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center represents a continued commitment to the global fight against AIDS. We look forward to working with the International AIDS Society on this important event.”
“For more than two years, we have worked with the International AIDS Society, federal officials, and the local hospitality community to ensure that DC would be a compelling and viable location for AIDS 2012,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO, Destination DC. “In addition to the power and prestige that comes with hosting the conference, it also gives a significant boost to DC’s meetings and tourism industry during a traditionally slow period for the city.” The conference is expected to generate more than US$38 million in delegate spending.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the IAS is the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals, with 14,000 members in 190 countries. The IAS convenes the International AIDS Conference in partnership with a number of international bodies, including UNAIDS, the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, and the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations, as well as local partners.
“We are gratified by the enthusiastic support expressed by our US government and civil society partners today for holding AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC,” said Dr. Diane Havlir, a member of the IAS Governing Council and chief of the HIV/AIDS Division at University of California, San Francisco, who will serve as local co-chair of AIDS 2012.
Dr. Havlir continued, “The world’s leading AIDS experts will gather for AIDS 2012 in a community deeply impacted by the epidemic, providing a tremendous opportunity for partnership and exchange that will further sow the seeds of solidarity among all of us dedicated to ending this scourge.”