NewcastleGateshead to host 500 experts for major sexual health and HIV conference


New reports have confirmed that a major conference focusing on tackling sexual health infections has been secured for NewcastleGateshead for the very first time.

The event, called British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) annual conference, is expected to attract up to 500 delegates from the UK and further afield to the ‘twin cities’, when it takes place at The Sage Gateshead in May, 2011. BASHH is the leading national body of experts in the field of sexual health and HIV.

Conference ambassador, Dr. Nathan Sankar, consultant physician in genito urinary medicine (GUM) at Newcastle General Hospital, successfully bid for the conference at a meeting in London last year against other leading destinations. A conference ambassador is a local academic or business professional who has spearheaded a bid to bring a major conference to NewcastleGateshead.

His bid presentation was supported by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, which is the specialist business-tourism team attracting conferences to the destination.

“I’m delighted to help secure a major conference on such an important subject. I’ve worked in this field for nearly 25 years at Newcastle General Hospital,” Dr. Sankar said. “The hospital has an excellent reputation across the country, having produced a leading text book on sexual health.”

“To be attracting up to 500 experts from the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Europe, is a real boost for the reputation of the NewcastleGateshead sexual health service, but of course the whole destination too.

“NewcastleGateshead’s excellent transport links and the wealth of quality accommodation, dining, entertainment and shopping options here, helped build such a convincing proposal for securing this conference.”

Gill Pilkington, conference development manager at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “Our Conference Ambassador Programme is proving extremely successful due to the passion and expertise of our researchers and academics who have cultivated world-class research centers in NewcastleGateshead.

“A conference of this size will have a major impact on the local economy, generating an estimated £900,000 for local businesses, but it will also have a significant ‘intellectual impact’, demonstrating that NewcastleGateshead is a leading location for world-class medical and scientific research.”