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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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