Washington, D.C. – Today, the International AIDS Society (IAS) announced they will be hosting the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) in San Francisco and Oakland, California. This conference will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the 1990 AIDS Conference, which was held in the Bay Area at the height of the U.S. epidemic. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Barbara Lee applauded the decision.
“San Francisco is an inseparable part of the story of HIV/AIDS,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It is fitting and deeply inspiring that advocates, researchers and survivors will return to the Bay Area for the 2020 International AIDS Conference. San Francisco has long been the center of HIV/AIDS research and advocacy, and a trailblazing global leader in public health response, innovative prevention strategy and community-based models of care. Our city will never forget what it took to come from those darkest times when many of us were going to two funerals a day, to a time when we are celebrating weddings and retirements of people with HIV.”
“In 1990, I attended the International AIDS Conference in San Francisco,” added Democratic Leader Pelosi. “As the AIDS Conference returns to the Bay Area, let us reflect on the great progress we have made since, and move forward with renewed strength to banish this disease to the history books to achieve an AIDS-free generation.”
“Returning the International AIDS Conference to the Bay Area has been a dream of mine for many years,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “As early epicenters of the epidemic, none of us in San Francisco or Oakland were untouched by the devastating toll of the AIDS crisis. In the years since, our cities have emerged as hubs of HIV/AIDS research, innovation and activism. As founder and co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, I am proud to welcome this critical international conference back to my community.”
“For decades, the discriminatory AIDS travel ban prevented the conference from coming back to the United States. With my colleagues, I led the effort to lift the ban in 2010, and was thrilled to welcome the 2012 AIDS Conference to Washington, D.C,” Congresswoman Lee added. “By lifting the ban, the United States finally lived up to its promise as a leader on HIV/AIDS and sent a message that stigma and discrimination was unacceptable everywhere. Now, after encouraging IAS to return the AIDS Conference to the Bay Area, I’m pleased that our cities will share this important opportunity for us to build on this progress. I look forward to joining AIDS experts and activists from around the world in remembering those we have lost, reflecting on the progress we’ve made, and recommitting to end this epidemic.”
The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering on HIV and AIDS in the world. This biannual conference is an opportunity for researchers, advocates, and public officials to interact and share their expertise on the AIDS epidemic and strengthen policies and programs that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic. The San Francisco-Oakland Conference will be held from July 6th – July 10th, 2020 and is expected to bring together more than 15,000 global participants.