Australia’s science excellence within the immunology and infectious diseases space, was key to the selection of Brisbane as host city for the world’s largest and most influential HIV Sciences conference.

The International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2023) will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in July 2023, presenting a global focus for Australia’s evidence led approach to HIV, leading the world in the minimisation of infection rates.

Organisers are forecasting 6,000 members of the international research community at the forefront of HIV science will attend the five-day event at the ASM Global managed venue.

The team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) together with local host organisation ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine) submitted the successful bid to host the 2023 Conference, with strong support from the Queensland Government, through Queensland Health and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Tourism Australia and Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA).

The Conference is set to amplify the role of science in the areas of infectious diseases and viral medicine in Australia, with a number of scientists from the nation’s top research institutes involved in the COVID -19 Pandemic, playing an active role in the bid to secure the HIV Sciences Conference for Brisbane.

HIV and COVID -19 intersect, with key elements of Australia’s HIV response utilised in the country’s fight against COVID-19. IAS 2023 enables Australia’s key learnings in this area to be shared on a global scale.

Hosting the conference in Australia would be an accelerator for the country to reach its goal of achieving the virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2025. It will also focus attention on the HIV epidemic in the Asia Pacific region, bringing an important spotlight to 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 have forged sustained partnerships involving the community, government and the 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.”

BCEC Advocate, bid champion, and Conference Chair, Professor Charles Gilks, Queensland Professorial Chair of BBVs and STIs at the University of Queensland said Australia has long been committed to an HIV response where scientists, clinicians, policy makers and community work together, led by those most affected by HIV.

“IAS 2023 will represent this best practice approach. Bringing together leading researchers and scientists from around the world to join with members of affected communities to share the latest advances in HIV research, will provide the best environment where global HIV science is pushed forward.”

Queensland’s Tourism and Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said conference events were important to Queensland’s visitor economy.

“The Palaszczuk Government has doubled investment in attracting significant conferences to $14 million because we know these events bring visitors to Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“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 and make a bumper $36.8 million contribution to our economic recovery.

“Two-thirds of all delegates will travel to Queensland from overseas, reflecting the State’s strong record of innovation in science and medicine.”

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

“We are honoured to host what is the world’s foremost meeting on HIV research at our venue and congratulate the collaborative effort of the Centre’s International Team along with our scientific colleagues and convention partners in securing this hero event for Brisbane and Queensland.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was wonderful to partner with BCEC to secure IAS 2023, further cementing the city’s world-class business event status,

“Brisbane is home to the brightest minds in medical research and innovation, and coupled with our subtropical city appeal and world-class facilities, makes it the perfect destination to deliver this important conference in the fight against HIV and welcome back international delegates to the city,” Cr Schrinner said.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said, “The Business Events Bid Fund Program continues to support business events in the critical bidding stage when Australia is competing against other international destinations.”

“The Program 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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