The XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) kicked off this year in Washington, D.C. with political leaders, health scientists, patients and advocacy leaders coming from every corner of the globe.
Debra Messing talks about the stigma of HIV.
Keynote speakers included actress and philanthropist Sharon Stone, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, musician Sir Elton John and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Attendees total around 22,000 with 2,000 volunteers to help out around the conference and an estimated 1,800 journalists reporting daily.
AIDS 2012 is the first international AIDS conference to be held in the United States in 22 years due to President Obama’s lift of the HIV travel ban in 2009. Buzz around the Washington Convention Center has an energy unlike any other conference I have attended. Positivity and passion pours out of every staff member, volunteer, attendee and scientist I approach, and I could not be more excited to be part of the action.
If you are in the D.C. area, I recommend visiting the Global Village (it’s free to the public) along with the adjoining exhibition conference halls.
Stay tuned today as I blog on my two passions covered here at the conference: #indigenous issues and #mHealth mobile technology. Follow my tweets @RickiMac and join in the conversation with the conference handle @AIDS2012 and #AIDS2012, #HIV and #AIDS.