AIDS 2014The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) ended Friday, July 25, with speeches from several international figures who called on governments and organizations around the world to pick up the pace on ending global HIV/AIDS, according to the latest press release from the conference, which took place in Melbourne, Australia, and is organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS).

AIDS 2014 brought together 13,600 delegates from more than 200 countries to discuss a number of matters related to the global epidemic. The conference included representatives from the medical, research, government and advocacy sectors, as well as activists from several different communities affected by HIV, including gay and bisexual men, transgender people, sex workers and people who use drugs.

At the conference’s closing ceremony, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the outgoing president of IAS, called on the world to unite in improving global health overall, and to promote the human rights and social justice for people living with HIV. She also took time to honor the delegates who were killed in the Malaysian MH17 plane crash in the Ukraine on their way to the conference.

Sharon Lewin, the local Australian co-chair of the conference, also spoke on Friday to remind delegates that “one size will not fit all in our response” to HIV/AIDS around the world.

Musician and activist Sir Bob Geldof; incoming IAS president Chris Beyer; John Manwaring, an Australian man living with HIV; and Olive Shisana, the local co-chair of the next International AIDS conference, also took the stage on AIDS 2014’s final night.  

The next International AIDS Conference will take place in Durban, South Africa, in 2016.

To read the full press release, click here.

To check out all of POZ’s coverage from AIDS 2014, click here.