South Africa is preparing to host the 21st International AIDS Conference, which will be held from 18-22 July at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

This is the second time South Africa will be hosting the conference, the first time was 16 years ago, also in Durban.

With 16,000 members in 170 countries to its name, the International AIDS Conference is the world’s leading independent association of professionals committed to the fight against HIV and other global health issues.

The theme for this year’s event is “Access Equity Rights–Now”, which emphasises the need to reach people who lack access to HIV services, and is happening in partnership with the International AIDS Society; Gilead; Johnson and Johnson; Merk Sharp and Dohme Corp (MSD); Anglo American; Chevron Human Energy; Discovery; Imperial; Aspen; Hetero and Bristol Myers Squib.

18,000 conference delegates and attendees, and 1,000 journalists from 180 countries are invited. The conference will cover more than 500 sessions, workshops and programme activities focusing on discussions on HIV science and policy and practice.

Scientists will also have the opportunity to share key findings in their latest HIV research, what lessons they learned and identifying gaps in knowledge.

The international co–chair for the conference is President of the Geneva−based International AIDS Society, Chris Beyrer. The South African co−chair and former CEO of the Human Sciences research Council and now President and CEO of Evidence Based Solutions, Dr Olive Shisana.

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