Press release

Messe München to host the world’s largest conference on the topic of HIV and AIDS

February 14, 2023

  • Success in close cooperation with the Bavarian capital, Munich
  • Conference highlight: World’s most influential convention on the subject of AIDS
  • Messe München ranks highly with its infrastructure and experience

Messe München celebrates a huge success as a conference site: The International AIDS Society IAS has chosen Munich and in particular Messe München as the event location for the 25th International AIDS Conference. HIV experts will meet at the world’s largest scientific, socio-political and civil society HIV conference from July 22 to 26, 2024. At this forum, leading scientists, physicians, health experts and activists from more than 175 countries offer advice about low immunity and innovative ways of limiting HIV. A total of 15,000 participants are expected. The International AIDS Society IAS is the world’s most important HIV association.

In close cooperation with the Bavarian capital, Messe München was able to make a good impression for this conference highlight. The conference will be held in Messe München’s ICM – International Congress Center and in several halls. “We are proud that the International AIDS Society (IAS) has chosen Messe München to host the world’s largest conference on the topic of AIDS. Messe München is and will remain an attractive venue for medical conference events. Our customers appreciate the ICM. It offers the ideal conditions for large international conferences, which we have already proven several times. We have a state-of-the art conference center with halls that are directly connected and a team with years of experience implementing large, world-class events. The trust we have now been given to host one of the world’s largest conferences confirms this fact once again,” says Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, CEO of Messe München GmbH.

Following Montreal, Canada, in 2022, the 2024 conference will once again take place in a European metropolis. In future, the event will rotate between the continents. As such, AIDS 2026 will take place in Latin America.

Despite effective HIV treatment and tools to prevent, detect and treat opportunistic infections, the AIDS pandemic claimed one human life every minute in 2021. The number of people on treatment for HIV has grown at a slower pace in 2021 than in over a decade; while three-quarters of all people living with HIV have access to antiretroviral treatment, about 10 million people are unable to benefit from it. Only half (52 %) of the children living with HIV have access to life-saving medicine, and the inequality in HIV treatment between children and adults is getting larger rather than smaller.

The IAS has developed a range of measures to ensure equal access to the conference for people from low- and middle-income countries. Grants will be offered to finance or provide financial support for participation; the participation fees are staggered; and virtual participation is also possible. Two months after the event, the entire content of the conference will be made available online for free.

The department for work and economy of the Bavarian capital and the associated conference office were intensively involved in the application for this renowned congress together with Messe München, the Bavarian State Ministry for Health and Care, the Deutsche AIDS-Gesellschaft e.V., the Deutsche Aidshilfe, the Münchner Aids-Hilfe e.V. and other partners.

The Munich application received further support from the Polish Scientific AIDS Society as a representative of the Eastern European countries on which AIDS 2024 places a special focus. One of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world is taking place in Eastern Europe. Facilitated by the lack of access to health services and exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, the situation in Eastern Europe is alarming and requires intensive political, scientific and civil-society efforts that AIDS 2024 wants to mobilize.

Bijan Farnoudi, Director, Communications and Public Affairs at IAS, says: “We are very pleased to have found a great partner city for a successful AIDS 2024 conference in Munich at a decisive point in time in the fight against HIV. Munich offers a safe haven for all those who live with HIV and are affected by it. This applies particularly to people from Eastern Europe, who, thanks to Munich’s geographical and social proximity to the region, will find optimal conditions free from discrimination and criminalization.”

Clemens Baumgärtner, an expert in work and economy, says: “I am pleased that we are able to welcome this important conference to Munich. Our city offers ideal conditions for medical conferences. Research, teaching and business, as well as the associated knowledge transfer, all work well together in Munich. The environment, venues, infrastructure and conference industry provide the perfect backdrop. My team, our partners and I welcome and intensively encourage any form of networking and the proactive exchange of knowledge. The topic of AIDS has receded into the background during the coronavirus pandemic. It is therefore all the more important to focus on it again and to stimulate a broad social discussion. This is backed by the entire city administration of Munich and the conference offers the perfect forum for it. I am also particularly happy about the conference’s focus on Eastern Europe. Munich is ideal for this focus because of its location, but also because our city is a “safe space” for the LGBTQI* community—a place where everyone feels safe and welcome. As a partner city to Kyiv, Munich has a particularly close connection to Eastern Europe.”

Munich is characterized by a density of research institutions, including the two elite colleges, the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), as well as non-college institutions such as the Helmholtz Center. In addition, interest groups such as Münchner Aids-Hilfe e.V. are extremely active and important for the city society.

College lecturer Dr. Christoph Spinner from the Rechts der Isar Hospital of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Prof. Dr. Johannes Bogner from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) Hospital have provided significant support for Munich’s application to host the “25th International AIDS Conference”. Both doctors are renowned infectiologists, long-standing HIV therapists and pandemic experts. “Munich will offer an inviting environment for science, politics and especially for people on the fringes of society to come together and exchange knowledge and ideas without fear for health and safety,” says Dr. Christoph Spinner, who will take over the local congress chairmanship. “In particular, Munich’s fight against HIV has achieved excellent results. We look forward to sharing our evidence-based, people-first approach with the entire world.”

The International Aids Conference is accompanied by a “Global Village” that invites all interested parties to find out more about the content of the conference and to make contacts with participants from all over the world. Access to this area is free of charge and enables representatives of the HIV movement from civil society from all over the world to meet.

Related images