The International AIDS Society (IAS) today announced that Ms Cynthia Carey-Grant and Dr Monica Gandhi will serve as the Local Co-chairs for the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020). Ms Carey-Grant is a long-time women’s health advocate based in Oakland, and Dr Gandhi is an HIV researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.
They will join AIDS 2020 International Chair Dr Anton Pozniak, President of the IAS and an HIV clinician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, as Co-chairs. The AIDS 2020 Co-chairs lead the Conference Coordin1’ating Committee (CCC), which sets the overall conference policies and priorities and ensures that the programme pillars of community, leadership and science are reflected across the agenda.
“You can’t tell the story of HIV in America without talking about San Francisco,” Ms Carey-Grant, AIDS 2020 Local Co-chair, Oakland, said. “But right across the bay is another community – a browner community with a different story. Having the International AIDS Conference in the California Bay Area provides a unique opportunity to address the global HIV disparities that are the final frontier to ending the epidemic.”
“The Bay Area is the perfect setting for the conference,” Dr Gandhi, AIDS 2020 Local Co-chair, San Francisco, said. “I think that our biggest strength is that we are self-reflective about our work on HIV. We are eager not only to share the progress we have made toward addressing disparities in our communities, but also to convene leaders, scientists and advocates from around the world to discuss how much more remains to be done in the movement.”
“My first International AIDS Conference was in 1990 in San Francisco, and I am so thrilled to be going back as a conference chair,” Dr Pozniak, AIDS 2020 International Chair, said. “I am honoured to work alongside Cynthia and Monica to set the agenda for AIDS 2020. Their joint leadership as Local Co-chairs further highlights the strong partnership between the host cities of Oakland and San Francisco.
“They are highly respected amongst their peers and together bring a deep knowledge of community, research and clinical care that is critical to developing an impactful conference. We are committed to selecting and working with a strong committee that further embodies the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to address all facets of the HIV response and ensure that all the voices and perspectives of our HIV community are represented in the conference programme.”
London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco
“San Francisco is on track to become the first city in the United States to achieve its global goals against AIDS – eliminating all new infections and all HIV-related deaths, and putting an end to HIV stigma. We are thrilled to join our sister city, Oakland, in hosting the global HIV community in 2020, as well as to share best practices with health leaders from all over the world so that we can ensure similar success in every community.”
Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland
“Our Oakland community is vibrant and powerful. The challenges we face in addressing HIV are the same challenges found in many communities across our country and around the world – lack of resources, social inequalities and stigma. We look forward to AIDS 2020 as an opportunity to share our strength and strategies to reach those most affected, including people of colour, the LGBTQI community, sex workers, people who inject drugs and young people.”
The CCC members will be announced in the coming weeks. Click here for more background on the three AIDS 2020 Co-chairs.