A conference being held in San Francisco from November 3-5, named “What Will it Take to Achieve an AIDS-free World?” and sponsored by the scientific journals The Lancet and Cell, is ignominiously answering the question posed in the title of this post: don’t provide an option to register until less than a month before the event and charge a $400 registration fee (the public registration option at this “special rate” was only added to the conference website in the last couple of days). TAG’s plea to the organizers—made in March of this year—requesting that they at least allow an option for local community members to attend without paying a steep fee has seemingly fallen on deaf ears. It is lamentable that an event attempting to look toward a brighter future should harken back to the dark days when people with HIV and community-based activists were excluded from attending scientific meetings. Hopefully some of the esteemed speakers—which do at least include respected activist David Evans from Project Inform—will raise this issue in their talks.
Update 10/25/2013: The conference has now also added a free registration option for media.