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December 1, 2003
World's largest international AIDS conference to be held in Toronto in 2006
  
The City of Toronto has been chosen to host the XVI International AIDS
Conference in 2006. The conference will be held August 13 to 19, 2006. The
decision was formally announced today (World AIDS Day) at a press conference in
Toronto.

The AIDS2006 Toronto Conference will bring together 15,000 to 20,000 of the
world's most important scientists, physicians, health care workers and
community leaders working on HIV/AIDS to share current knowledge on a full
spectrum of issues about the global epidemic.

Toronto was chosen by the International AIDS Society (IAS) and its partners:
the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), the Global
Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the International Community of Women
Living with HIV (ICW), and UNAIDS. These organizations will also form the
Conference Organizing Committee.

Montreal researcher Dr. Mark Wainberg, former IAS president, will Co-chair the
AIDS2006 Toronto Conference. "Toronto is a great host city-and Canada a great
host country-because the world is already here," said Dr. Wainberg. "The
conference will showcase the best science from Canada and around the world."

UNAIDS Deputy Director Kathleen Cravero noted that International Conferences
help shine a spotlight on the global HIV epidemic. "We are confident that
Toronto will host a truly international conference that will fully involve
partners in the developed and developing worlds," she said.

All levels of government-municipal, provincial and federal-have already
indicated support for the conference. Toronto City Council has committed to
provide a $1 million loan guarantee to secure the event. "Toronto has a long
history of supporting communities responding to HIV/AIDS and other public
health issues," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "We're proud to play our part
in hosting the conference."

Minister for International Cooperation Susan Whelan affirmed Canada's support
for the conference and for the fight against HIV/AIDS. "Canada has long
recognized our responsibility to combat this epidemic within and beyond our
borders," Whelan said.

George Smitherman, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, offered his
support for the event, "This conference brings together the best and brightest
medical and scientific minds as well as the voices of world communities dealing
with this terrible disease. Ontario is proud to host and support them in their
critical work."

LaVerne Monette, Coordinator of the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy, said
the conference "will allow those of us working in communities that have been
most affected by HIV to share knowledge of successes and challenges."

The conferences are held every two years. The 2004 conference will be hosted by
Bangkok, Thailand. This is the third International AIDS Conference to be hosted
in Canada. Montreal hosted the 1989 conference, and Vancouver hosted it in
1996. The latest conference was held in Barcelona in 2002. It attracted 17,000
participants, including more than 2,200 journalists from around the world.

Media contacts:
Glen Brown, ICASO consultant, 416-892-2286 or gbconsult@sympatico.ca
Economic Development Culture and Tourism Media Hotline,
416-560-8726



 

 

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