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AIDS conference makes history

14 Jul 2014

By Robert Bremner

Thousands of people will visit Southbank in July when the AIDS 2014 conference comes to town.

Around 45 of the city’s most famous buildings, including the Arts Centre, will be floodlit red every evening throughout the week-long convention.

Running from July 20 to July 25 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), AIDS 2014 will be the largest health and development conference ever to be hosted in Australia.

It will provide an estimated $80 million boost to the Victorian economy.

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) CEO, Karen Bolinger, said AIDS 2014 would include some big-name guests.

“Bill Clinton, the 42nd President on of the United States and founder of the Clinton Foundation along with artist and activist Sir Bob Geldof will be among the high profile speakers at AIDS 2014” Ms Bolinger said.

“Melbourne was chosen because of the strong support from the city, state and federal governments and the exceptional facilities at the host venue.”

Interestingly 70 per cent of international conferences secured by MCB at MCEC were in the health, medical and scientific sectors.

“The strength of Melbourne’s scientific community and expertise in HIV research was also a major contributing factor to the city’s success,” Ms Bolinger said.

MCEC chief executive Peter King said he was looking forward to the history-making event.

“AIDS 2014 will make Australian history and we are very much looking forward to successfully hosting this global event in Melbourne.”

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