The 2010 International AIDS Conference: A Preview

Alex Garita

Alex Garita of the International Women's Health Coalition introduces this year's IAC, where activists, providers, researchers, and government officials will discuss the AIDS epidemic. Watch here for further updates.

Rewire has partnered with the International Women’s Health Coalition to publish articles from the 2010 International AIDS Conference.  Check back for updates.

From July 18-23, tens of thousands of activists, scientists, academics, researchers, service providers, and government officials will gather in Vienna, Austria for the bi-annual International AIDS Conference.

This year’s IAC program focuses on the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it relates to intravenous drug users in the Central/East Europe region, where the HIV infection rates among drug users are some of the the highest in the world. Many advocates at the conference are promoting the Vienna Declaration, a statement seeking to improve community health and safety by calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies.

I’m interested to hear more about the difficulties women who use drugs in this region have in terms of having their human rights fulfilled — including their sexual and reproductive rights, and comprehensive access to health services.

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At such a big conference, conveing with global communities outside of panel sessions and the Global Village tabling area can be difficult. Luckily, there are several pre-conference meetings, including the Vienna Youth Force and Sex Worker sessions, which I will be attending. IWHC is co-hosting an Inter-generational Dialogue among feminists and women living with HIV, and I am looking forward to giving the opening remarks for the Sex work, Punitive Laws, and Human Rights panel on July 22nd.

Look for my blog posts about women and young people’s stories at the conference in the next week. Additionally, Akimbo will be co-hosting blog posts with Rewire and UN Dispatch during the conference. There’s also lots of Twitter activity around the conference – check out all a special aggregated feed of more than 30  individuals and organizations who are in Vienna here.

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