A great success for congress metropolis Munich: The "IAS - International AIDS Society" has chosen Munich as the venue for AIDS 2024, the 25th International AIDS Conference. From July 22 to 26, 2024, more than 15,000 participants will meet for the world's largest scientific, socio-political and civil society conference on HIV. Leading scientists, medical professionals, health experts and activists from over 175 countries will use this forum to discuss the immune deficiency and innovative ways to curb HIV. The IAS - International AIDS Society is the main international HIV association.
After Montreal, Canada, in 2022, the conference will again be held in a European metropolis in 2024. In future, the event will rotate between the continents. This means that AIDS 2026 will take place in Latin America.
The Department of Labor and Economic Development of the Capital City of Munich and its Convention Bureau, together with Messe München, the Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care, Deutsche AIDS-Gesellschaft e.V., Deutsche Aidshilfe, Münchner Aids-Hilfe e.V. and other partners were intensively involved in the bidding process for this prestigious conference. The Munich bid received further support from the Polish Scientific AIDS Society as the representative of the Eastern European countries on which AIDS 2024 has a special focus. Eastern Europe has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world. Exacerbated by lack of access to health services, intravenous drug use and the war in Ukraine, the situation in Eastern Europe is alarming and requires intensive political, scientific and civil society efforts, which AIDS 2024 aims to mobilise.
Clemens Baumgärtner, Head of the Department of Labor and Economic Development: "I am delighted that we are able to welcome this important congress to Munich. Our city offers the best conditions for medical congresses. Munich, with its venues, infrastructure and congress industry provides the ideal setting for the interplay between research, teaching and economy – and the associated transfer of knowledge. My team, our partners and I welcome and intensively promote every form of networking and proactive knowledge exchange. The topic of AIDS may have faded into the background in the wake of the corona pandemic. This makes it all the more important to draw attention to the issue again and to stimulate a broad social discussion. This is supported by the entire Munich city administration and the congress provides the perfect forum. I am also particularly pleased that the conference concentrates on Eastern Europe. Munich is ideal for this focus because of its location, but also because our city is a "safe space" for the LGBTQI* community, a place where everyone feels secure and welcome. And of course, as Kyiv's twin city, we have a particularly strong connection to Eastern Europe."
In close cooperation with the City of Munich, Messe München was able to convince for this congress highlight. The conference will take place in the ICM - International Congress Center Messe München and in several halls.
Dr Reinhard Pfeiffer, CEO of Messe München GmbH: "We are proud that IAS, the International AIDS Society, has chosen Messe München as the venue for the world's most influential AIDS conference. Messe München is and remains a highly attractive location for events in the medical congress sector. Our customers appreciate the ICM. It provides excellent conditions for large international congresses, as we have already proven several times. We offer a state-of-the-art congress centre with directly connected halls and a team with many years of experience in staging major world-class events. The trust now placed in us to host one of the largest congresses in the world confirms this once again".
Bijan Farnoudi, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, IAS: "We are delighted to have found a great partner in Munich for a successful AIDS 2024 conference at a crucial time in the fight against HIV. Munich offers a safe haven for all those living with and affected by HIV. That also applies to people from Eastern Europe, thanks to Munich's geographical and social proximity to the region and thanks to optimal conditions free of discrimination and criminalisation."
Munich is characterised by the high concentration of research institutions, including the two elite universities, the "Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München" (LMU) and the "Technische Universität München" (TUM), as well as non-university institutions such as the Helmholtz Centre. In addition, actors such as Munich Aids-Hilfe e.V. are extremely committed and important for the city society. The progress in COVID-19 science, especially the rapid development of effective vaccines, has given new impetus to the discussion on HIV prevention and treatment.
Associate Professor Dr Christoph Spinner from the “Universitätsklinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München (TUM)” and Professor Dr Johannes Bogner from the “Klinikum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)” have been instrumental in supporting Munich's bid for AIDS 2024. Both physicians are renowned infectiologists, HIV- and pandemic experts, who have been treating HIV-patients for a long time. “Munich will provide a welcoming environment for the worlds of science and policy and especially for marginalized people to come together to exchange knowledge and ideas without fearing for our health and safety,” Local Co-Chair Christoph Spinner said. “Munich’s HIV response, specifically, has had excellent outcomes and we look forward to sharing our evidence-based approach that puts people first with the rest of the world.”
The IAS has developed a series of measures to ensure that people from low- and middle-income countries have equal access to the conference. Bursaries to fund or financially support attendance are being introduced, participation fees are tiered, and virtual attendance is also possible. Two months after the event, the entire content of the conference will be freely accessible online.
The 25th International AIDS Conference will be accompanied by a "Global Village", which invites all interested parties to learn more about the conference content. Admission to the "Global Village" is free of charge and offers the opportunity to meet representatives of the civil society of the HIV movement from all over the world.
Despite effective HIV treatment and tools to prevent, detect and treat opportunistic infections, the AIDS pandemic cost one life every minute in 2021. The number of people receiving HIV treatment in 2021 increased at the slowest rate in over a decade: While three-quarters of all HIV-infected people have access to antiretroviral treatment, about 10 million do not. Only half (52%) of children living with HIV have access to life-saving medicines, and inequality in HIV treatment between children and adults is increasing rather than decreasing.