Canada: Activists Protest Richard, Bill, Bill & Melinda Detract From the Real Story of AIDS
August 17, 2006
Activists on Wednesday disrupted a press conference at the 16th International AIDS Conference, claiming that the presence of celebrities is drawing media attention away from regular people living with AIDS. "Is this a Hollywood conference or is this an AIDS conference?" asked Nkhensani Mavasa of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign. The news conference whose participants included Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases turned into a debate over whether the presence of celebrities was sidetracking media attention. Conference co-chairperson Dr. Mark Wainberg, who was not present when the dispute arose, later called the criticism unfair. "They should understand, as we all do, that we would not have 3,000 journalists at this conference if not for Richard Gere and Bill and Melinda Gates and Bill Clinton. So they can't have it both ways. They can't have the celebrities come here and attract the journalists and then expect the journalists not to do stories on the celebrities."
08.16.06; Helen Branswell
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.