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Berlin to host International AIDS Society Conference 2021

VisitBerlin has announced a “major success” by being selected to host the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science in 2021.

Over 6,000 experts will attend the largest conference of its kind in the world from 18– 21 July 2021 at the CityCube, Messe Berlin, for the 11th IAS Conference.

The IAS is the largest international HIV association and its biennial conference brings together scientists, medical and health experts from over 140 countries.

Described as the world’s most influential meeting on HIV research, the experts in attendance will discuss critical advances in research and innovative technologies in the prevention of the virus.

Iris Lanz, head of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, said: “The IAS decision for Berlin strengthens the German capital’s profile as a major congress metropolis.

“This also further underlines Berlin’s growing international reputation as a venue for medical congresses and events.”

In 2018, the medicine, pharmaceuticals, and health sector accounted for 22 percent of all congresses and events held in the German capital.

And the city hosted the 9th International AIDS Conference in 1993, but this is the first time that it will host the IAS Conference on HIV Science.

The UN estimates that there are 36.9m people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide with 1.8m being children.

Despite global efforts to control HIV in 2017 the UN estimated that 1.8m individuals became newly infected across the globe at a rate of around 5,000 new infections per day.

Germany’s federal minister of health, Jens Spahn, said: “HIV remains an important issue on our national and international agenda.

“We will therefore continue to invest in HIV research to find a vaccination and cure for HIV, and we are delighted that the IAS Conference on HIV Science in 2021 will bring together the renowned scientific community in Berlin to share state-of-the-art knowledge that contributes to preventing new HIV infections and to improving the lives of people living with HIV.”

The city is home to the first and only reported case of a sterilising cure for HIV, commonly known as the “Berlin patient”.

German doctor Gero Hütter, from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, treated Timothy Ray Brown, a HIV-positive man, with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Brown has continued to be free of readily detectable virus without therapy for 12 years and the case continues to serve as a scientific landmark suggesting that HIV might one day be cured.

Adeeba Kamarulzaman, who will be president of the IAS in 2021, said: “The innovative research that is presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science provides the insight and data we need to tackle the most critical barriers facing our world today.

“There is no better role model than Berlin to help us focus on these challenges.”

VisitBerlin and its Berlin Convention Office worked closely together with the Federal Ministry of Health, the German AIDS Society, the German Healthcare Partnership, the Berlin Senate Chancellery and others to design a proposal for the event.

And Berlin joins an impressive list of other major cities where this event has been held, including Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sydney, Vancouver and Mexico City.