FORMER President of the US Bill Clinton and singer/songwriter and activist Bob Geldof will be among the high-level speakers in the line-up of the 2014 International AIDS Conference to held in Melbourne in mid-July, organisers announced today.

The two will join UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé, former High Court judge Michael Kirby and thousands of the world’s top HIV and AIDS researchers, community leaders, people living with HIV and policy-makers in addressing the conference, which is also known as AIDS 2014.

International AIDS Society president and AIDS 2014 international chair Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi said the event brings representatives of science, civil society, politics, and private sector to discuss an international level the most pressing issues linked to HIV and AIDS.

“It is only with an open and collaborative dialogue that we can advance in the response to HIV and to other health threats and having such high-level speakers will amplify the lasting impact of the conference,” Professor Barré-Sinouss said.

Sidibé and Kirby will deliver keynote addresses at the AIDS 2014 opening ceremony on July 20, while Clinton — who earlier this year was honoured by GLAAD for his support of same-sex marriage — will deliver the keynote address on July 23.

Meanwhile, Geldof will be the guest speaker at a session on July 24, sharing his views on the challenges ahead for defeating HIV in the developing world.  He will also deliver a speech at the closing session on July 25.

There are many other sessions and events happening during AIDS 2014, of which the program is now available online.

“Having such leaders in attendance shows that HIV and AIDS remains a global challenge which needs strong political and scientific leadership,” local co-chair Professor Sharon Lewin said.

“We also encourage delegates to experience the other activities at the conference including the vibrant Global Village and Youth Pavillion and cultural activities taking place in Melbourne for AIDS 2014.”

AIDS 2014 Melbourne is on July 20-25. Details, click here

Confirmed high level speakers:

Rose Ambrose, Minister of Health, Canada
Gretchen Bachman, Senior Orphans and Vulnerable Children Technical Advisor, USAID, United States
Ambassador Deborah Birx, US Global AIDS Coordinator
Peter Botten, Managing Director and Executive Director, Oil Search Limited
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group (joining by video link)
James Chau, Journalist and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, China
Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States
Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne
Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Anthony Fauci, Head of National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, United States
Bob Geldof, artist and activist
Eric Goosby, University of California, San Francisco
Michel Kazatchkine, UNSG’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Ethiopia
Michael Kirby, Former Justice of the High Court of Australia
Nafsiah Mboi, Minister of Health, Indonesia
Philippe Meunier, Ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS and Communicable Diseases, France
Festus Mogae, Former President of Botswana and Chairman, Coalition for Dialogue in Africa
Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria
Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, Sweden
Molosiwa Selepeng, Botswana High Commissioner
Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS
Dan Sultan, Artist
Robert Vitillo, Head of Caritas Internationalis to the UN in Geneva

The Star Observer is a proud media partner of the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.\


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