News / Health

    AIDS Conference Hits Halfway Point

    Vincent Leclercq of France demonstrates in front of the White House in Washington as the AIDS conference continues in Washington, July 24, 2012.Vincent Leclercq of France demonstrates in front of the White House in Washington as the AIDS conference continues in Washington, July 24, 2012.
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    Vincent Leclercq of France demonstrates in front of the White House in Washington as the AIDS conference continues in Washington, July 24, 2012.
    Vincent Leclercq of France demonstrates in front of the White House in Washington as the AIDS conference continues in Washington, July 24, 2012.
    VOA News
    The International AIDS Conference is reaching its midway point, keeping the focus on prevention and finding an elusive cure.

    For some, progress in the battle against AIDS is coming too slowly.  And thousands took to the streets of Washington on Tuesday, converging on the White House to make their point.

    Inside the conference, researchers have been keeping their focus on programs to help now, including research on a new vaginal ring aimed at keeping women safe.

    "Because this product is designed to be replaced once a month, it offers potential to increase the chances that women will continually use the product as opposed to a product that has to be applied in a behaviorally dependent prior to sex way or on a daily basis," explained Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

    About 3,500 African women have signed up to take part in the study and hopes are high.

    Researchers say giving women tools to protect themselves, without having to rely on their partner, is critical.  Half of the more than 34 million people living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are women.  That percentage rises even higher in hard-hit Africa.

    • The XIX International AIDS Conference at the Washington Convention Center in DC.
    • Aaron Laxton gathers in front of the White House in Washington during an AIDS demonstration, July 24, 2012, as the AIDS conference continues.
    • Activists gather for the We Can End AIDS march through Washington, July 24, 2012. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • Activists gather for the We Can End AIDS march through Washington, July 24, 2012. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • A member of the audience looks at slides during a speech given by Barton Haynes, Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute and the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), July 25, 2012.
    • A variety of art, dancing, and performances can be found in the Global Village at AIDS 2012. 
    • Attendees view works of art and biographical stories in the rotunda outside the conference.
    • Bill Gates and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speak at the conference, July 23, 2012. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • A woman looks out over the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which is now in its 25th year, on the National Mall in Washington July 24, 2012.
    • People walk in the AIDS March in Washington, July 22, 2012.
    • Sir Elton John speaks at conference, July 23, 2012, in Washington.
    • A display is set up in the Convention Center by The CONDOMIZE! Campaign. The campaign is a joint program of the United Nations Population Fund; its goals are to de-stigmatize and encourage access to condoms around the world. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • 2,000 journalists were expected to cover the AIDS conference. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • A translation booth is set up which enables live translated versions of speeches to be recorded and broadcast throughout the building. There are booths for Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, and Spanish; the Spanish booth is pictured. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • The Orphan Tower, a tower of small beaded cloth dolls, is set up at the AIDS conference. The tower signifies the number of young children orphaned by AIDS in South Africa -- the current number is 3.7 million. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • International attendees line up to obtain cell phones at the Washington Convention Center, July 23, 2012. (Alison Klein/VOA)
    • A variety of art, dancing, and performances can be found in the Global Village at AIDS 2012.
    • AIDS demonstrators outside the White House, Washington, July 24, 2012. (P. deHahn/VOA)

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