August 1st, 2012

Really Rapid Review — 2012 International AIDS Conference, Washington, DC

Last week’s International AIDS Conference in Washington got plenty of media attention, mostly because it was the first time in umpteen years that it was held in the United States, the delay between meetings due to our absurd (and now repealed) immigration laws regarding HIV.

(Quick trivia question — where was the conference supposed to be in 1991 when it was cancelled?)

As is typical of these meetings, which alternate with the smaller International AIDS Society Conference from year-to-year, there was plenty going on from a political and activist perspective. Still, there was some notable clinical research, so here then is a Really Rapid Review© of some conference highlights, both scientific and otherwise.

Now the non-scientific part.

  • Hilary Clinton was great in one of the opening plenaries. As is inevitable for these conferences, vocal protesters interrupted her as she began speaking; she handled them perfectly, citing how important protests have been to advance the HIV cause. But come on — I can’t think of any major politicians who have done more for HIV than the Clintons — why protest her at all?
  • Yes, it was hot — really hot, this was Washington in July, after all — but fortunately not as hot as it was the week before the conference, when even the locals were complaining. For the record, on the day I flew back, it was 97 in Washington, 77 in Boston.
  • Heat notwithstanding, these bikes are a great way of seeing the city sites. Just … ride … very … slowly.
  • The National Gallery is simply one of the best art museums on the planet — and it’s free! The George Bellows exhibit (representative painting above, click on it to enlarge) was sensational — and not just because he was recruited to play professional baseball while in college.
  • There was the familiar prominent display of condoms, etc by these folks. I bet the cardiologists don’t get a similar opportunity during their big meetings. But I truly hope they (the condom people) leave the microphone at home next time, yikes that was loud.

Next year’s conference is in Kuala Lumpur — which is, amazingly, not quite as hot in the summertime as Washington, DC, but is much harder to get to, at least for those of us living in this hemisphere. It will be interesting to see what kind of attendance the conference gets.

11 Responses to “Really Rapid Review — 2012 International AIDS Conference, Washington, DC”

  1. Neha says:

    What a cool little “conference capsule!” Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Jose A Giron MD says:

    Very nice precis of conference

  3. Ullas says:

    Thanx for the excellent update. Was there any discussion on the pre-exposure prophylaxis reports?

  4. Amendri says:

    Succinct and great update on latest advances in this
    fight against HIV.Much food for thought, and adds more
    optimism for patients and physicians alike.Thank You!

  5. Congrats, and thanks, for the superb “Really Rapid Review” … And we’ll see if Kuala Lumpur next year is truly not quite as hot as Washington, DC this year.

  6. Jihoon Baang says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful (and fun!) review.

  7. Greg says:

    I’m confused. The 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) will be held in Malaysia, which continues to deport HIV+ foreigners. So I guess no HIV+ foreigners are allowed to attend?

  8. Cathy says:

    Great window into the conference…and into the way your expansive mind works, Paul. I’m most curious about the information on TB. Will you write a post summarizing the work with new drugs and explaining the implications for people who ARE HIV positive and also ARE NOT?

    • Paul Sax says:

      … I’m most curious about the information on TB. Will you write a post summarizing the work with new drugs and explaining the implications for people who ARE HIV positive and also ARE NOT?

      The prevailing wisdom is that these new TB drugs will benefit all, both those with and without HIV. The amazing thing is that they’re actually going to happen, as there hasn’t been a new TB drug in decades.

  9. Tadese says:

    When and where the next conference will be held?

  10. Tadese says:

    I got it

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.