1,500 community representatives expected at Barcelona community forum

Fifteen hundred community representatives will gather at the Community Forum in Barcelona just before the start of the International AIDS Conference, allowing them to share their experiences, knowledge and contacts with other participants from around the world.

The Forum (called the Punto de Encuentro) will run throughout the day of 7 July 2002 at the Fira de Barcelona, which is also the venue for the 5-day XIV International AIDS Conference. The morning plenary will consist of keynote presentations from activists and community leaders from around the world, and will focus on issues such as the impact of the previous International AIDS Conference on South Africa; The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria; and a presentation on community achievements and challenges that lie ahead.

The afternoon programme is informal and has been created to allow participants to meet one another, establish useful networks, and to learn from one another’s successes and mistakes.

“The afternoon programme of the Community Forum allows people infected or affected by HIV to come together and communicate with others who work in the same region and in the same field. This is a unique opportunity for conference delegates to learn lessons or gain experience from someone else who has been working on a similar project. We allow community representatives to gain time by learning from a process that has already happened in another region,” explained Hernando Muñoz Sanchez, Community Forum coordinator.

The XIV International AIDS Conference will be held in Barcelona, Spain from 7 to 12 July 2002. It will attract up to 15 000 delegates from all over the world, including leading scientists and clinicians, health care workers, public health agencies, people living with AIDS, politicians, NGOs and the media.

The conference is organised by the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Fundació Barcelona SIDA 2002. It is co-organized by the Joint United Nations Project for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW), the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+), the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) and Red 2002 (a Spanish-based network of NGOs).

Source: media release, XIV International AIDS Conference

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