News / USA

    Performers and Politicians, Cheers and Chants at AIDS Conference

    Suzanne Presto
    WASHINGTON — Thousands of people gathered at the convention center in Washington, D.C. Monday for the second day of the International AIDS Conference. Celebrities and diplomats took center stage, and fans and protesters gathered at the conference's Global Village site.
     
    HIV-positive singer Jamar Rogers commanded the stage, just as he did as a semifinalist on the popular U.S. singing competition television program, "The Voice."    
     
    But Rogers was not the only action on the Global Village stage at the International AIDS conference.
     
    Protesters demanding more housing for HIV-positive residents in Washington, D.C. rushed the stage when Mayor Vincent Gray spoke.  HIV is an epidemic in the U.S. capital.
     
    • 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)
    (Click to View Photo Gallery)
    Jeromy Dunn, a radio show host from North Carolina, finds the activism invigorating. "That's what this is all about about.  It's all about getting up and getting angry again," he said. 
     
    Dunn, who is HIV-positive and takes antiretroviral drugs, says medical breakthroughs have had an unintended side effect during the past 20 years. "Since the advent of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART combination therapies, we've become complacent as a nation.  And this is the kind of anger and the kind of vitriolic response that we need," he said. 
     
    The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a community organization founded in San Francisco, California, battle complacency with flamboyance and humor. 
     
    Sister Vicious reflects on the days since he began organizing AIDS awareness and safe sex programs in 1981. "Well, there's still stigma attached to it [i.e., HIV / AIDS], not in the amount that we experienced in the early 1980s.  And the whole AIDS crisis has gone global, of course, and touched more communities than the gay male community that was experiencing it in America originally," he said. 
     
    Sir Elton John speaks at the XIX International Aids Conference, July 23, 2012, in Washington.Sir Elton John speaks at the XIX International Aids Conference, July 23, 2012, in Washington.
    x
    Sir Elton John speaks at the XIX International Aids Conference, July 23, 2012, in Washington.
    Sir Elton John speaks at the XIX International Aids Conference, July 23, 2012, in Washington.
    British rock star Elton John said the stigma makes it more difficult to fight the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. "The AIDS disease is caused by a virus, but the AIDS epidemic is not.  The AIDS epidemic is fueled by stigma, by hate, by misinformation, by ignorance, by indifference," he said. 

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged that the United States will continue to battle HIV and AIDS.
     
    "Well, I am here to make it absolutely clear, the United States is committed and will remain committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation.  We will not back off; we will not back down.  We will fight for the resources to achieve this historic milestone," she said.

    Related video report by Jerome Socolovsky


     

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: hivsingles from: NY
    July 24, 2012 1:05 AM

    The emotional impact of discovering that you have HIV / AIDS can outweigh the physical health issues one has to deal with. Go to HIVMatching.com to find support and other people with HIV / AIDS in your area!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora