This Sunday, 24,000 people from 132 countries -- researchers, advocates, politicians and celebrities -- will descend on Toronto to attend the 16th International AIDS Conference, which runs until Aug 18.
The theme of the conference is Time to Deliver, which encourages delegates to focus on the promises and progress made to scale-up treatment, care and prevention. In some 400 sessions, meetings and workshops, leaders on the frontlines of the pandemic will review pivotal research on everything from epidemiology to social science to policy.
Among those expected to attend are Governor-General MichaŽlle Jean, United Nations HIV/AIDS envoy Stephen Lewis, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, actors Richard Gere, Sandra Oh and Olympia Dukakis. There are also expected to be about 3,000 members of the media in attendance from new organizations worldwide.
The International AIDS Conference is convened every other year by the International AIDS Society (IAS), an independent association of HIV professionals, with more than 7,000 members from 153 countries
The conference is expected to pump an estimated $22-million into Toronto's economy.
With a report from Canadian Press