I just came back from an event at the White House, where Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the 2012 International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington DC. This decision by the International AIDS Society comes as a result of President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. will end its entry restrictions on people living with HIV. The conference was last held in the U.S. in 1990 in San Francisco, California.
On the eve of World AIDS Day, Secretary Clinton reminded us that “HIVAIDS is the defining health challenge of our time.” Ambassador Eric Goosby, MD, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, told us that we have to “work harder and smarter.” And as Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told the audience, “if our results aren’t changing, our actions must.”
Such powerful words from some of our most senior officials. Jeff Crowley, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, concluded the press conference by reminding us that World AIDS Day is an “opportunity to recommit to raising awareness and getting people the care they need.”
From the AIDS quilts displayed at the White House, to the large red ribbon on the White House steps, to this exciting announcement, I am inspired and recommitted to addressing this epidemic with new media and other tools. And with YOU!