Over a thousand delegates from Australia and the Asia Pacific region will gather in Sydney from today for this year’s Australasian Sexual Health Conference, followed by the Australasian HIV/AIDS Conference which runs from October 20 to 22.

The conferences are on at the Darling Harbour Convention and Exhibition Centre and will be attended by frontline medical and allied health professionals, researchers, policy makers, scientists and members of communities here and abroad directly affected by sexual health and HIV issues.

Those gathered will hear presentations from a wide range of domestic and international speakers including Professor Alan Whiteside, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban South Africa, Mr. Jim Pickett, the Director of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Dr. Eric Daar of the UCLA.

The Australian Sexual Health conference was officially opened by Her Excellency Ms. Quentin Bryce AC, Governor General of Australia at 9am this morning.

Other highlights of the conference include the release of the annual HIV surveillance data (new HIV infections over the last year in Australia) on Wednesday at 10am;
a huge line up of international and domestic experts presenting reports from South Africa on the sub Saharan HIV pandemic and the region including PNG, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia; frontline reports on work done with Indigenous communities and youth oriented prevention and other initiatives, and emerging issues in HIV prevention, including the exciting potential of microbicides and the issue of HIV and ageing.

Info: www.sexualhealthconference.com.au and www.hivaidsconference.com.au

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