The Association of the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV (ASSHH) held its 4th international conference in Amsterdam in July, immediately prior to the AIDS 2018 meeting. This was the first time the ASSHH conference was officially affiliated with the International AIDS Conference. The conference was convened by Eileen Moyer from the University of Amsterdam and Martin Holt from CSRH. Over 270 delegates attended the meeting, which profiled cutting edge HIV social science and humanities research from around the world.
Over 130 presentations were given at the conference, including keynotes from Carmen Logie, University of Toronto, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Northwestern University, Tim Rhodes, CSRH and LSHTM, and Morten Skovdal, University of Copenhagen. The conference theme, ‘Intensifying the social in the biomedical era’, prompted many speakers to consider the challenges in engaging with new prevention technologies like PrEP while there remain ongoing issues in providing access to HIV prevention, testing and treatment, particularly in lower and middle income countries.
As has become the tradition at previous ASSHH meetings, there was a lively and supportive atmosphere at the conference, encouraging all delegates to critically engage with a range of perspectives. Many junior scholars presented their work for the first time to an international audience, and delegates had the opportunity to develop their peer networks and seek advice from more established colleagues. It is hoped that the meeting can be held again in two years’ time.