Looking back with the IAS presidents

To mark the 25th anniversary of the International AIDS Society we captured the memories and observations of all 13 IAS Presidents from 1988 onwards through a series of video interviews. Each of our Presidents looks back on their tenure as IAS President and reflects on the development of the HIV epidemic and what impacted them the most over during the last 30 years.



Lars Kallings (Sweden) - IAS President from 1988-1990

International AIDS Conferences:
Stockholm & Montreal

Key Events:
1987: AZT approved but has difficult side effects
1988: World AIDS Day starts (December 1). UNAIDS reports that the number of women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa exceeds that of men
1989: US travel ban imposed
1990: 8 million have HIV worldwide



Paul Volberding (USA) - IAS President from 1990-1992

International AIDS Conferences:
San Francisco & Florence

Key Events:
1990: U.S. FDA approves use of AZT for pediatric AIDS
1991: Red ribbon becomes symbol of HIV/AIDS
  Freddie Mercury. Lead singer of Queen, dies from AIDS
  Magic Johnson, basketball player announces he has HIV, and retires from sport



Peter Piot (Belgium) - IAS President from 1992-1994

International AIDS Conferences:
Amsterdam & Berlin

Key Events:
1992: International AIDS conference moves to Holland due to US travel ban
  FDA licenses first rapid HIV test in the US, which provides results in as little as ten minutes
  AIDS becomes number one cause of death for U.S. men aged 25 to 44
1993: "Philadelphia," a film starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer with AIDS, opens in theaters, becoming the first major Hollywood movie on AIDS
  World class ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev dies of AIDS.
  President Clinton establishes White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP).



David Cooper (Australia) - IAS President from 1994-1998

International AIDS Conferences:
Yokohama & Vancouver

Key Events:
1994: U.S. Public Health Service recommends use of AZT by pregnant women to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV, based on "076" study showing up to 70% reduction in transmission
1995: 8 million with HIV worldwide
  First protease inhibitor, saquinavir, approved in record time by the U.S. FDA, ushering in new era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)
  U.S. FDA approves first non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), nevirapine
1996: First combined antiretroviral treatment
1997: First vaccine trials in France



Mark Wainberg (Canada) - IAS President from 1998-2000

International AIDS Conferences:
Geneva & Durban

Key Events:
1998: Nevirapine drug made available
  Despite earlier optimism, several reports indicate growing signs of treatment failure and side effects from HAART
  Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) forms in South Africa; grassroots movement pushes for access to treatment
  First human vaccine trial in a developing country begins in Thailand
1999: WHO publishes recommendations for MTCP
  UNAIDS, WHO and other global health groups announce joint initiative with five major pharmaceutical manufacturers to negotiate reduced prices for AIDS drugs in developing countries
2000: 27 million with HIV worldwide



Stefano Vella (Italy) - IAS President from 2000-2002

International AIDS Conferences:
Durban & Barcelona
  IAS Conference:
Buenos Aires

Key Events:
2001: United Nations General Assembly convenes first ever special session on HIV/AIDS, "UNGASS"
  The World Trade Organization, meeting in Doha, Qatar, announces "DOHA Round", to allow developing countries to buy or manufacture generic medications to meet public health crises, such as HIV/AIDS
  Generic drug manufacturers offer to produce discounted, generic forms of HIV/AIDS drugs; several major pharmaceutical manufacturers agree to offer further reduced drugs prices in developing countries
2002: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria begins operations; approves first round of grants later that year
  HIV is leading cause of death worldwide, among those aged 15-59
  UNAIDS reports that women comprise about half of all adults living with HIV/AIDS worldwide



Joep Lange (The Netherlands) - IAS President from 2002-2004

Visit our special page: In remembrance - Professor Joep Lange

International AIDS Conferences:
Barcelona & Bangkok
  IAS Conference:
Paris

Key Events:
2003: WHO launches 3 by 5 campaign
  PEPFAR launched
  AIDS vaccine trial fails (AIDSVACX)
  The South African Government announces new antiretroviral treatment programme



Helene Gayle (USA) - IAS President from 2004-2006

International AIDS Conferences:
Bangkok & Toronto
  IAS Conference:
Rio de Janeiro

Key Events:
2004: WHO 3 by 5 campaign reached but 33m now have HIV
  The World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the United States Government, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announce results of joint efforts to increase the availability of antiretroviral drugs in developing countries. An estimated 700,000 people had been reached by the end of 2004.
2005: Nelson Mandela‘s son, Makgatho Mandela, dies from AIDS



Pedro Cahn (Argentina) - IAS President from 2006-2008

International AIDS Conferences:
Toronto & Mexico City
  IAS Conference:
Sydney

Key Events:
2007: WHO recommends male circumcision in developing countries
2008: Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier receive Nobel Prize for Medicine
  4 million people have access to treatment in developing countries, 700 000 in industrialised countries



Julio Montaner (Canada) - IAS President from 2008-2010

International AIDS Conferences:
Mexico City & Vienna
  IAS Conference:
Cape Town

Key Events:
2009: Atripla is on the market.
2010: South African researchers announce results of a clinical trial (CAPRISA 004) showing that use of microbicide gel significantly reduced risk of HIV infection among sexually active women.
  Large international clinical study (iPrEx) showed a daily dose of combination antiretroviral pill reduced the risk of acquiring HIV among men who have sex with men and transgendered women who have sex with men.
  Obama Administration releases first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States in July.



Elly Katabira (Uganda) - IAS President from 2010-2012

International AIDS Conferences:
Vienna & Washington DC
  IAS Conference:
Rome

Key Events:
2010: Obama lifts restrictions for HIV positive people to enter USA
2011: Large, multinational study of discordant, mostly heterosexual, couples (HPTN 052) shows early treatment of HIV-infected person greatly reduces transmission to negative partner.



Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (France) - IAS President from 2012-2014

International AIDS Conferences:
Washington DC & Melbourne
  IAS Conference:
Kuala Lumpur

Key Events:
2012: U.S. FDA approves the use of Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for reducing the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals at high risk, marking the first HIV treatment to be approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).



Chris Beyrer (USA) - IAS President from 2014-2016

International AIDS Conferences:
Melbourne & Durban
  IAS Conference:
Vancouver