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Conferences organised by medical societies are an important calendar event of the academic, professional and social lives of medical specialties. It is estimated that globally there are more than 10 000 medical meetings per year.1
Accessing continuing medical education has become more challenging due to significant time and financial pressures on clinicians and scientists. Moreover, there are some serious arguments for not holding scientific conferences: the carbon footprint of holding such events (eg, the 2007 American Thoracic Society conference in San Diego generated an estimated 10 779 tonnes of carbon from air travel); there are little data to support the educational value and patient benefits of scientific conferences and the potential negative impact of industry-supported educational events.1 ,2 The scientific and clinical applications of sexual health and HIV have made historic advances in the past 40 years and continue to do so, for example HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (HIV-PrEP) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination. Clinicians and scientists have more access to online and virtual …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.