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A Timeline of Women Living With HIV: Past, Present and Future -- 2008

June 2012

2008. A new documentary is released entitled, "Please Talk to Kids About AIDS." The film follows seven-year-old Veneeta Hennessey and her five-year old sister Sevilla around the 2006 International Conference in Toronto. In the movie, the girls ask experts and activists basic questions about HIV.

The cosmetics company MAC names singer Fergie, of the group The Black Eyed Peas, as the newest spokesperson for its Viva Glam HIV/AIDS campaign.

University of Texas-Arlington Sorority Delta Xi Nu hosts the "Stomp out AIDS Step Show" to raise AIDS awareness and money for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The state of Florida sponsors its first-ever conference aimed at reducing the impact of HIV on black women. The three-day "S.O.S.: Sistas Organizing to Survive" conference urges conference attendees to get tested for HIV.

Rwandan first lady Jeannette Kagame hosts a roundtable discussion about HIV/AIDS vaccine research and development at the United Nations in New York.

More than 1,500 mostly HIV-positive women protested in Swaziland against a foreign shopping trip taken by eight of King Mswati's 13 wives. The wives and their children and staff planned to shop for celebrations to mark Mswati's birthday and the country's independence from Great Britain. Protestors chanted slogans such as "We need to keep that money for antiretrovirals," and "We can't afford a shopping trip when a quarter of the nation lives on food aid."

A new study entitled "Crack Cocaine, Disease Progression, and Mortality in a Multicenter Cohort of HIV-1 Positive Women," published in AIDS, concludes that the "use of crack cocaine independently predicts AIDS-related mortality, immunologic and virologic markers of HIV-1 disease progression, and development of AIDS-defining illnesses among women."

Oxfam presents a report titled "Failing Women, Withholding Protection" at the XVII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2008) in Mexico City. According to the report, there are about three billion male condoms sold worldwide annually, compared to about 26 million female condoms. And studies have repeatedly shown that female condoms are widely accepted and that many women prefer them to male condoms, but hesitance of policy makers to promote and invest in their use has hindered their ability to protect women from HIV/AIDS. "This is a 15-year scandal born of ignorance and inertia," Honorary Oxfam President Mary Robison said, adding, "We now know that millions of women might have been spared HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and empowered themselves in the process, if they had access to this simple method."

A new study out of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine reports that HIV appears to attack normal, healthy genital tissue in women and does not require breaks in the skin to infiltrate cells, offering new perspectives on how the virus is spread. Study author, Thomas Hope, said the results are "an important and unexpected result-we have a new understanding of how HIV can invade the female vaginal tract ... we urgently need new prevention strategies or therapeutics to block the entry of HIV through women's genital skin."

Christine Maggiore, an HIV-positive woman and an AIDS denialist, dies December 27 in her California home at the age of 52. Known for her outspoken beliefs that HIV did not cause AIDS, she was diagnosed with HIV in 1992.

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This article was provided by Terri Wilder. It is a part of the publication A Timeline of Women Living With HIV: Past, Present and Future.


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