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Malaysia first Asian host of HIV/AIDS scientific conference

Malaysia selected as first Asian host of world’s largest open scientific conference on HIV/AIDS

*November 30, 2010 – Geneva, Switzerland– *The International AIDS Society (IAS) today announced the selection of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as host of the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013), the world’s largest open scientific conference on HIV/AIDS. IAS 2013 will be held from 30 June to 3 July 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

Held every two years, the IAS conference attracts about 5,000 delegates from all over the world. It is a unique opportunity for the world’s leading scientists, clinicians, public health experts and community leaders to examine the latest developments in HIV-related research, and to explore how scientific advances can – in very practical ways – inform the global response to HIV/AIDS.

Announcing Malaysia’s successful bid, IAS President Elly Katabira commented, “I am delighted that IAS 2013 will be held in Malaysia. The Malaysian government’s leadership in the area of HIV drug policy serves as a model for countries all over the world experiencing steep increases in HIV infections related to ineffective drug policy. We have seen some extraordinary policy changes in Malaysia over the last decade, where substitution therapy such as methadone and buprenorphine, in addition to syringe exchange programmes, is now available for injecting drug users. The IAS also applauds the government’s commitment to provide free HIV treatment to all Malaysians in need of antiretroviral therapy. By bringing the conference to Malaysia, our colleagues from all over the world can learn from such best practice.”

“As a region with the largest geographic area and population, dramatically varied levels of wealth, diverse epidemic patterns and a complex mix of structural and behavioural determinants of risk, Asia and the Pacific is faced with significant challenges in terms of its HIV epidemic,” said Mats Ahnlund, Acting Executive Director, IAS. “Such challenges have provided experts from the region with a unique perspective and valuable experience to share with the rest of the world, and hosting the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Kuala Lumpur will provide a high profile platform for these experts to share their experience with an international audience.”

Hosting the conference in Kuala Lumpur will bring in HIV experts from neighbouring Asian countries, enhancing HIV knowledge in the area and providing regional HIV professionals with access to the latest HIV science. As well as a valuable knowledge-based impact, the conference will also benefit the region economically, as the 90% of delegates coming from overseas will generate an estimated USD25 million in economic value for the Malaysian economy.

The conference was previously held in Sydney (2007), Cape Town (2009), with the next edition to be held in Rome, Italy in July 2011.

*About the IAS* The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with over 16,000 members from more than 200 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. Our members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians, public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners. The IAS is the custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference and lead organizer of the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, which will be held in Rome, Italy in July 2011.

ENDS

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