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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More