At this meeting, the official sessions - plenary talks, poster presentations, panel discussions - are only half of the story. For the week of he International AIDS Conference, the city of Vienna has been awash with other events, all related to the conference. It's hard to make time for everything, but I've tried my best!
One day this week, I visited a counseling center for female sex workers in Vienna. The visit was one of several local engagement tours organized by the conference to give participants a closer look at programs related to HIV/AIDS in Vienna. On my tour, I visited Sophie (http://www.sophie.or.at). The director talked to us about the legality of sex work in Austria and the issues faced by sex workers in Vienna.
On another day, I visited a exhibition kf works by Keith Haring, the influential artist who died of AIDS in 1990. The exhibit, at the Kunsthalle Wien, focused on his works from 1978 to 1982. The show was great. I was especially intrigued by the detailed notebooks he kept while painting.
Finally, we attended the AIDS Gala Concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. They performed works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. Quite simply, it was amazing.
Many other events, from film series to dance performances, have been ongoing throughout the week.