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AIDS 2010 Pre-Conference Buzz

July 17, 2010

Each day during AIDS 2010, we'll be following tweets, blog entries and news stories coming out of the conference and posting a daily roundup of some of the most interesting news to hit the Web.

Vienna today was "so hot that the conference posters [were] peeling off the walls" (@AIDSPolicyProj), but people of more than 100 nationalities gathered anyway (@mysteryoussef), even though AIDS 2010 hasn't officially started yet. So what's going on?

  • This morning was the Youth Pre-Conference, organized by the AIDS 2010 Youth Programme and Vienna YouthForce: "Young people are leading the prevention revolution ... my dear young friends, never forget that your generation is different -- and you are making the difference!" said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.
  • There was also a multi-faith pre-conference meeting today. The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance tweeted a powerful statement from Dr. Marijke Wijnroks: "HIV is a virus, not a sin. To make lasting impact, we need to build bridges [w/] ... all involved in fight."
  • Finally, today was the Global Forum on MSM & HIV.'s blogger Mark S. King and community manager, Olivia Ford, both attended -- stay tuned at to get their takes!

Aside from events, people across the Web have been posting articles and blog entries about the conference. Actress Debra Messing writes in solidarity:

As I sit in the production office of the new television pilot I am working on, I keep thinking about all of you in Vienna, including my friend Tears. My plan was to be with her -- and with all of you -- at the International AIDS Conference but unfortunately work has kept me away.

Tears and I met late last year in a hair salon in the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe. To be specific, I met her at her place of work, the Black Beauty Hair Salon and Butchery. That's right ... on one side it's a hair salon and on the other, a butcher. This program is one of the most ingenious I have seen in my time as a PSI [Population Services International] Ambassador. With support from UKaid, PSI developed a programme to reach vulnerable women through a nationwide network of hairdressers -- 1,500 to be exact. The hairdressers double as peer educators and talk to women about HIV prevention, birth spacing, family planning and overall risk reduction. They also distribute the Care female condom. ...

This week, Tears will be in the Global Village at the International AIDS Conference to show participants the incredible HIV prevention and family planning work she does back home.

Conference attendee Miriam Rabkin tweeted, "Why have scientists abandoned the International AIDS Conference?" and posted a link to this editorial from Science magazine by Jessica Justman and Wafaa El-Sadr of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (requires registration):

The past decade of the International AIDS Conference has reflected frustration over a growing divide between those with and without access to HIV treatment, particularly as millions continued to die of HIV in Africa. The challenges of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and providing mothers with lifesaving treatment were among the most critical issues debated. But during this same period of promoting wider access to treatment, basic and clinical researchers became increasingly reluctant to attend the conference. Rather, many chose to attend highly focused meetings in their specific interest areas (for example, those on HIV resistance, HIV vaccine development, or metabolic complications during HIV infection) or general meetings perceived as "more scientific," such as the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. As a result, the only forum emphasizing dialogue between those engaged in generating new scientific knowledge, those tackling the epidemic in a practical manner, and those dealing with its very personal impact, has been weakened.

Photo Roundup

If you're wondering what it looks like at the conference and around Vienna, check out these galleries and twitpics from people on the scene:

If you're tweeting about AIDS 2010 and want to follow you, send us an @reply. And of course, don't forget to follow on Twitter as we update with conference coverage!

Becky Allen is's site manager.

Copyright © 2010 Body Health Resources Corporation. All rights reserved.


This article was provided by TheBody. It is a part of the publication The XVIII International AIDS Conference.
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Please note: Knowledge about HIV changes rapidly. Note the date of this summary's publication, and before treating patients or employing any therapies described in these materials, verify all information independently. If you are a patient, please consult a doctor or other medical professional before acting on any of the information presented in this summary. For a complete listing of our most recent conference coverage, click here.

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