AIDS 2016: A Week in Review
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AIDS 2016: A Week in Review

On behalf of everyone at the International AIDS Society (IAS), thank you for joining us at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, and for adding your voice, your work, your collaboration, and your spirit to this historic gathering.

Whether you were able to join us in person in Durban, South Africa or not, you will find a wealth of information at your fingertips about AIDS 2016 below.

At AIDS 2016:

  • More than 15,000 participants attended the conference from 153 countries
  • 157 sessions and workshops on the latest in HIV science, programmes and advocacy
  • 6 plenary sessions featured leaders and experts from all walks of life
  • 992 volunteers contributed their time and energy
  • More than 800 media delegates reported from the conference
  • 933 delegates attended thanks to an AIDS 2016 scholarship
  • 130 clinicians and 80 advocates participated through the IAS Educational Fund
  • 135 exhibitors showcased their work in the Global Village and Exhibition
  • 128 satellite sessions were held by partner organizations
  • 42 awards and grants were announced for researchers, organizations and companies
  • 6,000+ AIDS 2016 mobile apps were downloaded from the App Store and Google Play
  • 33,934 people visited the AIDS 2016 website during the conference
  • More than 144,000 tweets were published on the #AIDS2016 hashtag
  • 726,268 people were reached by posts on the AIDS 2016 Facebook page

Sixteen years ago, we met for the first time in Durban. The 13th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2000) was the catalyst for historic change, ushering in a global movement to bring life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) to developing countries. Today, some 17 million people living with HIV worldwide are receiving ART, and South Africa is home to the world’s largest HIV treatment programme. But, as we heard in Durban, the fight to ensure equal access to prevention and treatment for all is far from over.

You were one of more than 15,000 attendees from around the world who participated in AIDS 2016, along with an additional 800 media representatives. Our programme included 16 pre-conferences, including the fifth annual Towards an HIV Cure Symposium, TB2016, and pre-conference sessions focused on the rights and contributions of men who have sex with men, transgender people, and adolescents, along with many other topics. This was the first International AIDS Conference at which all of these important pre-conferences took place at the conference venue, which made each pre-conference topic a central component of the main conference programme.
The AIDS 2016 conference programme was built from one of the most competitively scored abstract submissions in history. Thirty-six percent of regular abstract submissions and 18% of late breaker abstracts were accepted for presentation in Durban. Thirty-eight percent of the regular accepted abstracts had a presenting author from Africa, and more than half (54%) of the regular selected abstracts had a female presenting author – proving that women not only make history, they also make outstanding research.
Across the five days of AIDS 2016 we heard about:

  • Advances in HIV prevention, including new data on access to and use of PrEP; HVTN 702, the study that could lead to the first approved vaccine for HIV; and new research advancing the search for microbicides, long-acting prevention, and multi-purpose prevention technologies.
  • Successes in treatment scale-up, and new efforts to close the treatment gap and move towards the global 90-90-90 targets for testing, access to treatment and viral suppression.
  • The extraordinary impact of HIV on young people, especially on adolescent girls and young women, and the vital contributions of young people to the AIDS response.
  • The detrimental impact of laws and policies that stigmatize or criminalize sexuality, sex work, transgender identity, drug use, and living with HIV.
  • And hundreds of other topics related to every aspect of the global epidemic and response.

Outside and inside the conference venue, marches and demonstrations led by South African and global activists helped to focus the conference, the city, and the world on the need to redouble our efforts to meet global prevention and treatment targets, accelerate research, fully fund the AIDS response, and honour and respect the human rights of all people living with or affected by HIV.

Participants in AIDS 2016 included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, actor and activist Charlize Theron, singer and philanthropist Sir Elton John, Prince Harry of Wales, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Chair Bill Gates, and many others. Each dug in to the conference, participating in sessions and demonstrating not only their philanthropic and political support, but also their deep personal involvement in and commitment to ending the epidemic.

The South African delegation to AIDS 2016 was led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. We were also joined in Durban by ministers, funders, policy makers, researchers, and activists from every continent, including United States President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Chair Ambassador Deborah Birx, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, Global Fund chief Mark Dybul, former South African First Lady Graça Machel, Justice Edwin Cameron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and former Presidents Festus Mogae of Botswana, Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Ruth Dreifuss of Switzerland.
If you had the chance to visit the Global Village and Youth Programme at AIDS 2016 you got to experience the exhibits, dialogues, screenings, performances and networking zones that are an essential part of the International AIDS Conference. Dozens of community-based organizations, representing the heart and soul of the global AIDS response, participated in this year’s Global Village.

As AIDS 2016 drew to a close, outgoing IAS President Chris Beyrer, whose two-year term ended at the conclusion of the Durban meeting, passed the baton to the new IAS President, Linda-Gail Bekker. Chris Beyrer’s leadership has been central not only to the success of AIDS 2016, but also to strengthening the capacity of the IAS to channel and amplify the voices of our 10,000 members, who are working to strengthen the AIDS response worldwide. And we know that with your support, the IAS will continue to flourish under the able leadership of Linda-Gail Bekker.
AIDS 2016 has ended, but the work begun there continues. The closing session saw addresses with calls to reject complacency in the global AIDS response from outgoing and incoming IAS Presidents Chris Beyrer and Linda-Gail Bekker, joined by Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health for South Africa, Svitlana Moroz, Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS, Duncan Moeketse, Global Network of Young People Living with HIV, and Gennady Roshchupkin, Eurasian Coalition of Male Health. At the end of the closing session, the conference was handed over to the official organizers of the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), which will be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2018.
You can review Rapporteur Summaries of key conference sessions, view webcasts of key sessions, and keep in touch with the IAS via Facebook and through our IAS and AIDS 2016 Twitter feeds.
From all of us at IAS, thank you for all you did to make AIDS 2016 a success, and all you do every day to strengthen the response to AIDS worldwide.

Presentations, Abstracts and Rapporteur Reports
Presentation slides, abstracts and rapporteur reports are available to download from session pages on the AIDS 2016 Online Conference Programme.

Photo Library
Free, high resolution photos from AIDS 2016 for use by the media and others (with appropriate photo credit) are available from the AIDS 2016 SmugMug page. Please use the credit listed below each photograph to the International AIDS Society and the photographer.

AIDS 2016 Awardees
The IAS and other conference partners sponsored a number of scientific prizes and awards at AIDS 2016 to reward promising researchers who are doing exceptional work in HIV research. A total of 10 delegates received scientific prizes.
  • Women, Girls and HIV Investigator’s Prize
  • Prize for Excellence in HIV Research Related to Children
  • IAS TB/HIV Research Prize
  • Lange/Van Tongeren Prizes for Young Investigator Awards
  • Special HIV Cure Prize Awarded
To see the list of prize winners, please click here.
In addition, four awards recognizing the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals in response to the HIV epidemic were awarded in conjunction with AIDS 2016.

AIDS summit ends with call for more funding

The International Aids Conference in South Africa wrapped up Friday with calls for increased funding as the search for a cure continues and with HIV infections running at around 2.5 million a year.

AIDS conference closes but hard work begins, organizers say

As the curtain fell Friday on the 2016 International AIDS Conference in South Africa, organizers challenged delegates to go back to their countries and start the hard work toward an ambitious goal: ending the pandemic by 2030.

AIDS conference 2016: the gains, the gaps, the next global steps

As the 21st International AIDS Conference wraps up in Durban, South Africa, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, incoming International AIDS Society President, talks to The Conversation Africa health and medicine editor Candice Bailey about what was achieved and what still needs to be done.

Really rapid review: AIDS 2016, Durban

The International AIDS Conference returned this year to Durban, South Africa, where it was famously first held in 2000. At that time the HIV epidemic was exploding in South Africa; funding for HIV treatment was essentially non-existent, and there was ongoing HIV denialism quite openly from some very influential figures in the South African government (including the President). Globally, fewer than 1 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy, hardly any of them in Africa.

A Durban, le point sur la lutte contre le sida

Cette semaine a eu lieu la 21e Conférence internationale sur le sida (AIDS 2016) à Durban, en Afrique du Sud. En 2000, dans ce pays parmi les plus touchés par l'épidémie, se déroulait une conférence similaire qui avait marqué un tournant dans la lutte contre le VIH. En ouvrant les yeux aux dirigeants sud-africains sur l'importance de l'épidémie dans cette région du monde, les premiers traitements avaient débutés.
AIDS 2016 Opening Ceremony
Daily Highlights (22 July 2016)
South African Grandmothers' March
At the Conference
AIDS 2018 Trailer
AIDS 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Four facts you need to know: Child marriage and HIV

With the Durban International AIDS Conference just around the corner, we’ve put together a list of four important facts you need to know on the links between child marriage and HIV.

Small victories won – Now, let's win this war 

Since the first AIDS Conference in 2000, held right here in Durban, our battle to eradicate HIV and AIDS across the world has won many victories. Since 2010, new HIV infections have fallen by 6% and nearly half of the people living with the virus have access to antiretroviral therapy treatments.

Copyright © 2016 International AIDS Society, All rights reserved.

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