As the coronavirus pandemic continues to create havoc across the globe, the world’s leading AIDS Conference is now the latest event to be affected.
The 2020 International AIDS Conference which was scheduled to be held in San Francisco from July 6 has announced that the event will now be staged virtually.
In a statement from the International AIDS Society President Anton Pozniak, he said the virtual conference will enable delegates to access and engage with the latest HIV science, advocacy and knowledge traditionally presented at the conference.
“It will be a compelling combination of virtual sessions and community networking, including exhibitions, workshops, the Global Village, satellites and pre-conferences that will reach audiences around the world,” the statement said.
People with HIV are likely to be at heightened risk for coronavirus so the decision to go virtual was informed by advice from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, leading global and local health authorities.
“We are acutely aware that there is not yet sufficient data on whether people living with HIV are more susceptible to COVID-19 or more likely to develop severe disease,” read the statement.
“Therefore, we have a special obligation to reduce any potential risk to the HIV community.
“Furthermore, many of those who were planning to attend are now working on the front lines in the response to COVID-19 around the world.
“We have a responsibility to not put any of these individuals — or their home communities — at risk, nor redirect their efforts at a critical time in the response to the pandemic.”