Words of Welcome from the Co-Chairs

Dear Colleagues,

It is with pleasure that we invite you to take part in the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), on 18-22 July 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The biennial International AIDS Conference truly is the premier meeting where science, leadership and community meet for advancing all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV. AIDS 2016 represents a tremendous opportunity to show how much progress South Africa has made in implementing and funding evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions. Gathering in Durban, scientists, policymakers, world leaders, and people living with HIV will discuss together successes and challenges specific to that country and the current global epidemic trends. Together we will share best practices, learn from one another’s experience and develop new strategies and collaborations.

AIDS 2016 is expected to convene over 18,000 delegates from around the world including up to 1,000 journalists. The conference will be held from 18-22 July 2016 at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC). The International AIDS Society, the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, is organizing AIDS 2016 in collaboration with international, regional and national partners.

This is the second time that Durban will be hosting the International AIDS Conference, having hosted the XIII International AIDS Conference in 2000 under the theme Breaking the Silence. That conference was the first to take place in a developing country and enormously helped to change the approach to global public health. AIDS 2000 was a real watershed in the history of the HIV epidemic. Holding the conference in Durban will undoubtedly have a deep and lasting impact on one of the most important challenges of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), in 2012 South Africa registered more than 450,000 new HIV infections, a dramatic drop from the 640,000 new infections registered in 2001.

South Africa has made progress in reducing new HIV infections in young people and reducing mortality due to AIDS by providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to more than 2.4 million people. The number of people living with HIV continues to be the highest in the world. The country has a large cohort of AIDS scientists who undertake research on HIV prevention and treatment as well as surveillance of the epidemic. Coming to South Africa in 2016 will expose you to recent research findings carried out in that country.

In the months ahead, we will work on building a strong conference programme together with the various conference committees, and we encourage you to learn more about AIDS 2016 and make plans to join us in Durban for a conference that we are confident will mark another landmark in the course of HIV and AIDS.


Chris Beyrer - AIDS 2016 International Chair
Chris Beyrer
AIDS 2016 International Chair
President, International AIDS Society
Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Bloomberg School of Public Health,
The Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, Maryland, United States



Olive Shisana - AIDS 2016 Local Co-Chair
Olive Shisana
AIDS 2016 Local Co-Chair
CEO of the South African Human Sciences
Research Council (HSRC),
Honorary Professor at the University
of Cape Town, South Africa,
Chair of the South African BRICS Think Tank