At IAS 2013, Education and Information

This year's International AIDS Society conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is at the epicenter of current discussions around HIV and AIDS and the fight to create an AIDS-free generation.

Ruth Nswana is Senior Technical Advisor for Strategic Information & Evaluation for the Foundation, based in Zambia. This year, Ruth is taking her first trip to Asia for the annual International AIDS Society Conference (IAS) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia June 30-July 3, and she’ll be blogging every step of the way. Follow along as Ruth shares her first experiences at the conference and why she’s so excited to be in attendance!

I am so excited about my trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the IAS conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention that I couldn’t sit still through most of my almost twenty-hour flight! It’s my first trip to Asia and my first time attending the IAS conference or any conference of this magnitude.

The 7th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), a purpose-built convention and exhibition facility strategically located in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre overlooking the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers – what a magnificent view!

On day one of the IAS2013 conference, I could already tell that it’s going to be a very educational and enlightening experience! Walking into the KLCC, I’m immediately struck by the diversity of the volunteers standing at every corner to assist the IAS delegates. Within my first 10 minutes at the conference, I talked to three volunteers from Taiwan, Iran, and the United States. For me, this is an immediate reminder of that the fight against HIV is indeed global.

In the exhibition hall where I join the other delegates that are mounting their posters, I’m amazed at how much research is going on globally in an effort to better understand, treat, and manage the effects of HIV. To be at a conference where people come together to share all these lessons is truly an honor.

I look forward to gathering as much information as I can and learning lessons that can contribute to my country’s efforts toward the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.