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AIDS United at the International AIDS Conference

August 20, 2012

AIDS United at the International AIDS Conference
AIDS United at the International AIDS Conference
AIDS United at the International AIDS Conference
AIDS United at the International AIDS Conference

The 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. July 23-27 was arguably the most important convergence of the HIV community in recent memory. The bi-annual conference returned to U.S. soil for the first time in more than 20 years, thanks to the recent lifting recent lifting of the travel ban on HIV-positive people, and its presence in the Nation's Capital provided a unique and pivotal opportunity to raise awareness of the HIV epidemic's impact on the United States, as well as around the globe. With so many recent advances and tools in the community's HIV-fighting arsenal, the sense of hope was palpable that we were truly "Turning the Tide" -- which was the conference's theme -- to an AIDS-free generation.

AIDS United, along with its funders, grantees and advocates, had a significant presence at the conference. Several highlights are described below.

AU sponsored two Access to Care special sessions; one featuring the work of the Positive Charge grantees and one featuring speakers Dr. David Holtgrave of Johns Hopkins and Dr. Edward Gardner, creator of the Gardner Cascade of HIV care, presenting a look at the data emerging from the Positive Charge cohort and the movement of Positive Charge clients along the cascade.

AU Policy staff organized "Do It Yourself Legislative Days" and Regional Organizing staff offered legislative visit trainings in the Global Village throughout the week.

Senior VP Vignetta Charles participated in a forum at the Washington Post on AIDS in America, broadcast in real time on the "Washington Post Live." The event also featured Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebilius.

AU, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, SisterLove and What Works for Women and Girls, hosted a satellite session called "Messages that Matter: Reaching the World’s Women with Effective, Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Strategies"

At a special stakeholder reception held at the lovely Willard Hotel, AU presented the first Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care to Provincial General Hospital Comprehensive Care Centre (PGH CCC), from Nakuru County in Kenya, Africa. Davies Njuguna, Chair of the PGH CCC, accepted the award from Dr. Edward Gardner, who presented it in a room nearly filled to capacity with AIDS United Trustees, staff, grantees, funders and friends. This innovative Kenyan model is both inspiring and applicable to domestic interventions. AU looks forward to continuing to bring innovation (from across the globe) to our fight to end AIDS in America.

AU'S Linda Scruggs brought the house down when she delivered one of the opening plenary speeches on Wednesday, July 25.

AU President and CEO Victor Barnes co-chaired a panel on how public-private partnerships are being leveraged to fight HIV/AIDS in communities around the world, which included Nancy Mahon from MAC AIDS Fund and Rhonda Zygocki, Executive VP at Chevron.

AU's late-breaker abstract "Will and Should Women in the U.S. Use PrEP? Findings from a focus group study of at-risk, HIV-negative women in Oakland, Memphis, San Diego and Washington, D.C.," co authored by AU Vice President of Access and Innovation Maura Riordan and Judy Auerbach, was presented by Auerbach on Friday, July 27.

For the complete schedule of AU-affiliated International AIDS Conference activities published prior to the conference, click here.

For more photos of AU's activities during the International AIDS Conference, click here.

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