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Brisbane wins bid for Conference on HIV Science

The International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2023) will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in July 2023, demonstrating Australia’s approach to HIV and minimising infection rates.

Organisers are expecting 6,000 members of the international research community to attend the five-day event at the ASM Global managed venue.

The team at BCEC, together with the local host organisation the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) successfully bid to host the 2023 Conference.

The bid was supported by the Queensland Government, through Queensland Health and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Tourism Australia and Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA).

Spotlighting science

The Conference is set to amplify the role of science in the areas of infectious diseases and viral medicine in Australia, with the support of scientists from the nation’s research institutes involved in the Covid-19 pandemic. IAS 2023 will enable Australia’s learnings in this area to be shared on a global scale.

Organisers have stated that they hope hosting the conference will accelerate the country’s goal of achieving the virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2025. The event will also focus attention on the HIV epidemic in the APAC region, spotlighting the region’s most vulnerable communities.

IAS president and IAS 2023 international chair professor Sharon Lewin said the countries that have had success in their efforts to eliminate HIV had forged sustained partnerships involving the community, government and scientific community.

“Science, policy, and activism must come together to achieve a successful HIV response that best serves those affected globally. IAS 2023 will focus on how the science is translated in the joined-up efforts to eliminate HIV,” she said.

Queensland’s Tourism and Innovation minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, explained that conference events are important to Queensland’s visitor economy: “The Palaszczuk Government has doubled investment in attracting significant conferences to $14m (US$10m) because we know these events bring visitors to Queensland.”

Hinchliffe added: “Conference delegates support accommodation and transport providers, restaurants, cafes and tourism operators to help supercharge our visitor economy and create more good, secure jobs. Visitors to Queensland for conference events often spend more and return with family for holiday experiences.”

More than 6,000 specialist researchers and support staff will be in Brisbane for the conference; Queensland is expecting this to make a $36.8m ($23.8m) contribution to its economic recovery.

Two-thirds of all delegates will travel to Queensland from overseas.

Collaboration

BCEC general manager, Kym Guesdon said that the Centre has a strong track record of supporting collaboration and scientific exchange through its Convention Advocates Partnership: “Our team works closely with our Advocates among whom are many eminent scientists and academics, to secure conferences of this calibre.”

On reinforcing Brisbane’s business events industry, Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison commented: “The Business Events Bid Fund Programme continues to support business events in the critical bidding stage when Australia is competing against other international destinations.”

“The Programme has helped to secure the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Sciences in 2023 and is ensuring Australia has a strong pipeline of international business events.”



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