Asia-Pacific gears up for 10th International Congress on AIDS
22 August 2011
Several thousand participants from more than 55 countries are expected to gather in Busan, Republic of Korea from 26 to 30 August 2011 for the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP10).
Across the region, activists, government officials, international organizations, the United Nations, young people, media and other partners are gearing up for the five-day event, which takes place under the theme ‘Diverse Voices, United Action.’
Sessions on key regional priorities such as ensuring greater focus on and involvement of key populations at higher risk, legal and policy issues and funding the response will help shape the regional dialogue on AIDS and foster partnerships. Held every two years, ICAAP serves as a platform for governments, scientists, civil society and people living with HIV to share ideas from across the largest and most populated region of the world.
Following the 2011 United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS, the Congress will discuss how to drive the region towards the new targets that the international community set through the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.
Incredible progress has been made but these gains are fragile. ICAAP represents an important opportunity for the region to unite towards getting Asia and the Pacific to zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director
“This is a critical moment for the AIDS response in Asia and the Pacific,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, who will give the keynote speech and take part in a number of sessions. “Incredible progress has been made but these gains are fragile. ICAAP represents an important opportunity for the region to unite towards getting Asia and the Pacific to zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths,” he added.
Leading up to the event, a number of innovative strategies are underway to encourage greater participation and involvement in the regional Congress. As part of these efforts, Korean pop band ‘JYJ’ has promoted the event as Congress Ambassadors and will perform at the opening ceremony.
“This Congress comes at a critical moment in the AIDS response—30 years after AIDS was first discovered,” said Myung-Hwan CHO, Professor at Konkuk University in Korea and ICAAP10 Congress Chair. “ICAAP10 will be a platform for political leaders, affected communities and researchers in Asia and the Pacific to share experiences and renew commitment to the AIDS response.”
A UNAIDS report on the HIV epidemic and response in Asia and the Pacific will be launched on the opening day. The report will highlight the region’s specificities, challenges and the approaches pioneered to address HIV.