Strategies for ending the 30-year AIDS epidemic through advances in treatment, testing and prevention are high on the agenda of a major meeting of experts in HIV/AIDS when it returns to the United States next week after two decades.
"What we know is absolutely possible is that we can end the pandemic even without having a cure," said Anthony Fauci, a leading AIDS expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Held every two years, the International AIDS Conference has convened elsewhere around the world but not in the US since 1990, due to a travel ban on HIV-positive individuals.
The ban was overturned by US lawmakers under president George W. Bush in 2008 and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009.
The conference's return to the United States was expected to draw a star-studded crowd of 25,000 -- more than the usual 20,000 -- including celebrities, politicians, AIDS activists and scientists, organizers said.