Illinois: Largest AIDS Conference Brings Thousands to Chicago
November 17, 2011
An estimated 2,600 people attended the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA) in Chicago Nov. 10-13, which was hosted by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC). The conference was centered on men who have sex with men (MSM), and speakers focused on major policy changes and recent medical advances in HIV prevention and care.
USCA speakers discussed recent CDC data showing new HIV infections among black MSM ages 13-29 grew by 48 percent between 2006 and 2009; implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy; passage of the federal Affordable Care Act; as well as recently reported "game-changing" interventions that, if funded, could significantly cut infection rates. However, service providers and policy makers will have to step up to make that happen, experts said.
"I would ask you all in the fundamental moment of change to really seize this moment," said Jeff Crowley, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. Other presenters included Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CNN reporter Don Lemon, Tony Award-winning singer Jennifer Holliday, former "Project Runway" contestant Mondo Guerra, and Dr. Julio Montaner of the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.
Overwhelmingly, speakers encouraged attendees to shift focus from managing HIV/AIDS to ending the epidemic. NMAC announced that while its mission used to be developing leadership to "address" HIV, it will now develop it to "end" HIV.
The next USCA will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2012, in Las Vegas.
Windy City Times (Chicago)
11.16.2011; Kate Sosin
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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