Does AIDS Conference Solve Any Problems?

GayTORONTO, CANADA – They came, they saw, now what?
Ibrahim Umoru, Nigerian delegate: “One of the things I have learned to apply in my country is the power of community mobilization.”
This is the man who put this conference together.
Darryl Perry, executive director AIDS 2006: “These conferences are all about building networks, partnerships, connections among groups and people working on the front line.”
These are some of those expected to benefit from that network.
In India, talking about gay issues is taboo.
The conference has taught these gay activists how to approach the topic in schools in Calcutta.
Souvik Ghosh, gay activist: “They have a lot of confusion about sexual orientation.”
Louicy Liu of China found an innovative way to turn condoms into jewelry for young Chinese to wear and use.
Louicy Liu, China Youth Network: “Then people will not think condoms are too sensitive and then they may accept to use it.”
Perry says every time they meet, significant improvements are made. In 1996, the first anti-retroviral therapy was introduced at the AIDS conference in Vancouver.
Darryl Perry, executive director AIDS 2006: “It was a major milestone, a turning point and set the stage in terms of looking at further drugs.”
Those drugs have saved millions of lives. Still, there are four million new infections every year in the world. Today prevention is the major challenge.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently donated $500 million dollars to the Global Fund which focuses primarily on prevention in 132 countries. It’s executive director is also a professor at UCSF.
Richard Feachem, Global Fund executive director: “We need to get much better at the business of prevention, particularly preventing infection in teenage girls and women.”
Many of the people who attend this conference leave here with renewed hope that someday their children will live in a world without AIDS. Many of them have left messages on this board. For example: “we can come together as one person and understand the risks of AIDS. Ignorance is not bliss.”
The next AIDS conference will take place two years from now in Mexico City. There, the world will find out if the prevention methods talked about in this conference are finally working.
from KGO TV / Lyanne Melendez

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