The biggest health conference in the world is fast approaching! On August 3rd the foremost HIV experts from around the world will gather in Mexico City for AIDS 2008. The participants will total over 25,000 along with 3,000 from the international media. So you could definitely say the world will be watching.
The key to progress is sharing our insights and achievements, and AIDS 2008 is the biggest meeting ground for the minds working to fight HIV to present their work and pool their collective intelligence. Quite possibly the most important aspect of the conference is identifying where we have come up short in our response to HIV, and what we need to do about it to move forward.
The theme of this year’s conference is Universal Action Now. It’s a vital rallying cry and reminder that even though we’ve made a lot of progress in fighting the HIV pandemic, we must maintain as much a sense of urgency as ever if we are really going to beat it. AIDS 2008 will seek to accomplish this through fully opening up dialogue, not only in person at the conference but by utilizing the web, creating networks and establishing communication that goes far beyond the five days of the event itself.
The conference will also mark the first time an international AIDS conference has been held in Latin America. This will help highlight the growing HIV problem in this area and others that are often overlooked due to the massive scale of the HIV problem elsewhere. With the lessons that we learned the hard way in places like Africa, we have a great opportunity to stem the tide of HIV in countries where the infection rate is still relatively low. But only if we take universal action right now.