Press Releases

International AIDS Conference Webcast Attracts Thousands in First Week WEBCAST.AIDS2000.COM

Durban, South Africa -- July 14, 2000

More than 20,000 people from around the world logged on to during the first days of the XIII International AIDS Conference held this week in Durban, South Africa. The conference, which is the largest international HIV meeting, takes place once every two years and attracts more than 10,000 delegates who convene to share scientific, clinical and social data about HIV infection and AIDS.

Provided free of charge by the organizers of AIDS2000, is helping to extend the important information exchanged at this scientific forum to an unlimited global audience. Twenty-four hours a day, Webcast users can see and hear researchers present their data, access scientific abstracts and read daily summaries of key conference sessions.

Conference organizers expect that approximately 300,000 people will visit over the 18-month life of the broadcast, which will remain accessible through December 31, 2001. During peak periods, the Webcast has been viewed by approximately 100 simultaneous users, made possible by one of the world’s largest global server networks. The total number of hits to the site has exceeded 112,000 and is likely to reach more than 2 million by the time it closes. To date, the most popular presentations accessed by users of the Webcast have been those which include clinical data on new and existing drug treatments for HIV infection.

“The number of people accessing the site has exceeded our expectations, and we are pleased that so many people clearly find it a useful service,” said Professor Hoosen Coovadia of the Conference Organizing Committee. “It has confirmed our belief that the information shared at the XIII International AIDS Conference is of value and has consequences for people and organizations all over the world.”

With the conference taking place in South Africa, a significant part of the program is focused specifically on HIV in developing nations, many of which are disproportionately affected by the disease. Already the conference findings are reaching such areas, with people accessing the Webcast from many developing nations, including Zimbabwe, Zambia and Nigeria.

“It is particularly pleasing that our conference is reaching audiences in regions where educational information about the transmission, diagnosis and treatment of HIV is so desperately needed,” said Professor Coovadia. “We feel it is important to ensure that key findings of the conference are available to an unlimited audience at no cost. The Webcast has proved an ideal platform for us to achieve this goal.”

The Webcast is made possible by the financial sponsorship of Gilead Sciences, Inc. “The success of this Webcast illustrates the importance of making new information about diseases like HIV available to a worldwide audience,” said John C. Martin, Ph.D., President and CEO of Gilead Sciences. “We are pleased to be able to offer this important service to physicians, community members, patients and their families.”

Gilead Sciences, Inc., headquartered in Foster City, CA, is an independent biopharmaceutical company that seeks to provide accelerated solutions for patients and the people who care for them. Gilead discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes proprietary therapeutics for challenging infectious diseases (viral, fungal and bacterial infections) and cancer. Gilead maintains research, development or manufacturing facilities in Foster City, CA; Boulder, CO; San Dimas, CA; Cambridge, UK; and Dublin, Ireland; and sales and marketing organizations in the United States, Europe and Australia. For more information about Gilead, please visit

The Webcast service provider is MediTech Media Ltd., an international medical communications agency with offices in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

For more information, please visit