The 2012 International AIDS Conference, scheduled for July 22-27, is quickly headed to Washington, D.C. and for the first time since its inception more than 19 years ago, the conference will be hosted in the United States.
More than 20,000 people from over 200 countries who are HIV/AIDS advocates, policy makers and people living with the HIV virus, along with 2,000 journalists, will come to the nation's capital. In addition to discussing lessons learned over the many years of fighting this disease, many participants are coming on a mission to move the world closer to a cure for AIDS. They also will be looking forward to hearing from this country's leaders. There is an ongoing need for the United States to continue demonstrating to the world its unwavering determination to fund HIV/AIDS medical research, testing programs, treatment, prevention and education leading to the end of the world pandemic. It's a huge request, but hope and optimism are high that the world is near the beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic.
Participants also know that D.C. is "ground zero" for the biennial conference because of the impact HIV is having on local residents. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray believes the conference could not have come at a better time and the event will allow world HIV advocates a critical view of the local resources available to address the crisis in the District.
We are proud of the efforts D.C. residents in the HIV community are making to assure the success of the conference. It is a historic event that no one – senior citizens, adults, youths and children – should miss. If nothing more, it will help to destroy the stigma that people living with HIV deal with every day, as they see people from around the world working together and sharing strategies to put an end to the AIDS pandemic.
The Washington Informer has demonstrated its commitment to inform our readers about HIV/AIDS beginning with its first supplement dedicated to the issue published in 1989. We will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to report on the conference and strongly urge our readers...if you care, be there, too.