San Francisco AIDS Meeting Has Real-World Focus
October 29, 2009
The U.S. Conference on AIDS got underway Wednesday night in San Francisco, and more than 3,000 people are expected to take part between now and Saturday.
The conference is sponsored by the National Minority AIDS Council, whose director of government relations, Ravinia Hayes-Cozier, described it as "a blend of science and public policy."
Jason Riggs, a spokesperson for the San Francisco-based Stop AIDS Project, said the meeting is "geared toward the grassroots people" and is "about providing training and networking, so people can advocate in their own communities for the things that people affected by HIV really need."
With many AIDS programs across the nation reeling from cuts in public funding, participants hope the conference serves to fight misconceptions that suggest the U.S. epidemic is under control, HIV affects only gay men, and AIDS is a major threat only in Africa.
Topics to be addressed include the high prevalence of HIV among transgender persons and ways to include more women and minorities in clinical research. Participants will hear about the results of the GRACE -- for Gender, Race And Clinical Experience -- study, which focused on boosting clinical trial participation by women and minorities.
The conference, its organizers say, plays a leading role in developing regional and national policy by tackling such topics as how to expand treatment delivery in low-income settings. It also will offer input into the development of the first U.S. national HIV/AIDS strategy.
For more information on the conference, visit www.2009USCA.org.
San Francisco Chronicle
10.29.09; Erin Allday