Today marked the opening of the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria. What strikes me most about this biennial conference is the energy and excitement. People from all over the world gather with a single goal - the end of the AIDS pandemic. Everyone here, from scientists to politicians to educators to activists are passionate about their work and united in their desire.
After being here for only a day, a few themes seem to be emerging. First, this conference feels very much like a conference about and for Eastern Europe. As we heard from several speakers already, Eastern European and Central Asian countries are seeing the fastest growing HIV epidemic. Another theme that has emerged is the need for harm reduction policies. Finally, we have heard about the need for policy based on evidence, not ideology.
I'm looking forward to day 2.