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London’s track record tackling HIV secures AIDS congress

London’s impressive progress in tackling HIV will be showcased as it hosts the 2021 European AIDS Conference.

The event, organised by the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS), will bring together scientists from all over Europe. The not-for-profit organisation aims to promote excellence in standards of care, research and education in HIV infection, and to actively engage in the formulation of public health policy, with the aim of reducing HIV disease burden across Europe.

Dr Sanjay Bhagani, President-elect of the European AIDS Clinical Society and Consultant Physician, Royal Free Hospital, London, said: “The UK has made great progress in achieving and surpassing the UNAIDS targets for the Fast-track strategy for eliminating AIDS as a major Global Health threat by 2030. This will be a unique opportunity to share our experience and advances in science with partners and colleagues across Europe and globally and learn from each other. London will provide a truly multicultural experience for all our delegates.”

The UK capital is the first city in the world to meet and surpass the United Nations targets aimed at ending HIV and AIDS. The targets aim for 95 per cent of people with HIV to be diagnosed, 95 per cent of those diagnosed to be on antiretroviral therapy and 95 per cent to be virally suppressed (where the level of HIV in their blood is undetectable, therefore they cannot transmit the disease).

London has reached rates of 95 per cent diagnosis, 98 per cent on therapy and 97 per cent virally suppressed.

The city’s high level of political commitment and public health leadership were deemed integral to its success so far.

EACS is the latest in a succession of medical associations to have chosen London and its ExCeL venue for events between 2021 and 2025, reinforcing the city’s status as a leading host for medical conferences. Others include the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH).

Next year will also see the return of key events, including EASL (European Association for the Study of the Liver), EWMA (European Wound Management Association) and EAACI (European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology), following previous successful events in London.

Suzanne Singleton, Head of Associations at London Convention Bureau, said: “Medical conference planners from all over the world continue to choose London for their events due to our global talent pool, world-leading medical research and exceptional academic speakers and companies. With four of the world’s top 20 universities for life sciences in London, Cambridge and Oxford, and over 350 medtech companies based here in London, event planners can benefit from access to leading medical professionals, thought leaders and sponsors.”

Samantha Shamkh, Head of Conventions at ExCeL London, added: “We will help to ensure that the venue, city stakeholders and the organiser collaborate to achieve the society’s missions and objectives. Work will begin now to bring together London’s unique proposition, aligning it with our world-class venue, hotel and transport infrastructure to ensure EACS can leave a lasting legacy and offer its members an enriching and memorable experience in the UK capital.”

ExCeL London will host the conference October 27-30, 2021.

(via London and Partners, The Telegraph)