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International News
Obama Skips AIDS Conference; Disease Weighs Heavily on Black Community

July 25, 2012

A roundup of news coverage from the international AIDS conference being held in Washington.

Obama Skipping AIDS Conference for Campaign Draws Activists' Ire
For all the dignitaries on the schedule at the International AIDS Conference this week in Washington, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and former President Bill Clinton, it's the absence of one that has activists talking. With the conference being held in the U.S. for the first time in 22 years, President Barack Obama is out of town campaigning and raising money for his re-election. His only presence is a 50-second cameo in a three-minute video welcoming delegates. (Andersen Brower, Bloomberg, 7/25)

Activists Bring AIDS Message to White House
Protest is a common thread at International AIDS Conferences, and this year's was no different as thousands marched on the White House. Chanting protesters blocked streets from the Washington Convention Center to Lafayette Park to demand, among other things, a "Robin Hood" tax on financial transactions in the U.S. to fund additional AIDS research and programs. (Petrochko, Medpage Today, 7/24)

Black Teens Are Getting the Message on HIV, but Risks Are Still There
The HIV epidemic among African-Americans is getting deserved new attention at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. And the news isn't all bad. New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black high school students are engaging in risky sexual behavior far less often than they were 20 years ago. (Knox, NPR, 7/24)

2012 AIDS Meeting: Early Treatment Is Key, Experts Say
Treat HIV now, don't delay: That's the new advice from the International Antiviral Society-USA, in a shift from earlier recommendations that called for waiting until a patient's immune system showed serious damage. (Loury, Los Angeles Times, 7/24)

AIDS Conference Turns Focus to the Future
After stirring up enthusiasm and hope that the end of the AIDS epidemic may finally be possible, scientists, policymakers and others at the International AIDS Conference today turned their focus to the challenges -- and potential solutions -- that lie ahead in the fight against HIV. There remain more than 50,000 new HIV infections each year in the United States, and new data from the HIV Prevention Trials Network presented this week showed that the rate of HIV among black gay men under age 30 is nearly 6 percent -- a rate as high as that in Sub-Saharan countries in Africa most affected by the virus. "In the U.S., the burden of HIV is not shared equally by population or region," said assistant Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Dr. Howard Koh. (Duwell, ABC News, 7/25)

Researchers: With No AIDS Cure, Treatment For HIV Is Best Medicine
Eight years ago, Waldon Adams tested HIV-positive. Four years ago, he developed symptoms of AIDS, which meant bouts of pneumonia and weeks-long stays in hospitals and nursing homes. Now, Adams, 51, is healthy enough to run marathons. "When they found out I was going to run a marathon, I made the news," said Adams, who receives treatment and support at Whitman-Walker Health, a clinic in Washington that's helped people with HIV and AIDS in the nation's capital for nearly three decades. Adams isn't cured. However, he's an example of what's possible with current treatments for HIV and AIDS. (Tate and Mohamed, McClatchy Newspapers, 7/24)

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This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.




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