LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The first-ever virtual edition of the world's largest conference on HIV began today with a focus on the links between HIV and the COVID-19 pandemic and recognition of global debates around racism. Delegates from 175 countries are attending the conference, originally set to take place in Oakland and San Francisco.
"These are remarkable times - and defining times - for the global HIV movement and for the world," International AIDS Society President and AIDS 2020: Virtual International Scientific Chair Anton Pozniak said. "Every conversation we have now sits at the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic and a new global reckoning with systemic racism."
Authors of two studies being released at AIDS 2020: Virtual also shared findings related to the intersection of COVID-19 and HIV.
A survey of 13,562 people in 138 countries conducted from mid-April until mid-May showed that COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on the LGBTI+ community worldwide.
Nearly half the survey participants faced economic difficulty, with many unable to meet their basic needs, skipping meals or reducing meal sizes. Further, nearly half of those who were working expected to lose their employment in the wake of the pandemic, and 13% had already lost their jobs.
Of concern, 26% of participants living with HIV reported that they had experienced interrupted or restricted access to refills of antiretroviral treatment.
With over 600 virtual sessions and events, AIDS 2020: Virtual will enable delegates to access and engage with the latest HIV science, advocacy and knowledge traditionally presented at the conference, while offering a range of new features made possible by the new virtual format.
AIDS2020: Virtual Daily presents the best in breaking HIV science from the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual). The 15-minute daily show also features high profile guests, as well as community members from all over the world engaging in conversation. AIDS2020: Virtual Daily is hosted by ABC7's Karl Schmid in partnership with AIDS2020 Virtual and the show "Plus Life" +Life premieres on Localish TV on Sunday, July 12th at 9am. You can find Localish TV over the air on 7.2 and on select cable channels (COX796/1133, Frontier 467, Google Fibre 70, Mediacom 520 and Spectrum 1246). The weekly show is focused on encouraging viewers to live their best lives and will feature topical interviews and celebrity guests.
World's largest AIDS Conference starts today and goes virtual for the first time
AIDS 2020: Virtual conference gets underway.