Looking Back on the XIX International AIDS Conference
With the much anticipated arrival of XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) to Washington, DC during the week of July 22-27, 2012, we concentrated on this unique opportunity to address the critical issues facing women, girls, and families in D.C. on an international stage.
We actively engaged Positive Leaders Uplifting Sisters or PLUS Network advocates in a wide range of pre-AIDS 2012 conference planning activities with the purpose of ensuring that women were kept in the spotlight and discussions of AIDS in the US.
Policy and Advocacy program staff and PLUS Network members participated in the DC Community Coalition (DCC), made up of broad cross-section of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, working together to serve as the Local Outreach Partner for AIDS 2012. The DCC saw AIDS 2012 as an opportunity for increased accountability by area leaders toward reducing HIV infection rates and providing comprehensive programs for those infected, affected, and at risk of by HIV. We actively participated in the creation of the DCC Policy Committee’s DC Community Coalition for AIDS 2012 Platform, which was presented to the Mayor's Commission on HIV/AIDS. The plan advocates for the District and the Mayor to make HIV/AIDS a priority and ensure individuals access to care, prevention, and treatment. We continue that work this World AIDS Day, December 1, 2012.
We significantly raised our visibility, supported the participation of women and girls living with and at risk for HIV in the conference, and raised awareness of the issues facing women locally by:
- Having a vibrant and active booth in the Global Village at the conference
- Presenting on an array of topics including youth HIV prevention, the female condom, care-giving, and effective woman- and girl-led advocacy models
- Presented youth-led flash mobs with lively prevention messages
- Actively promoted the female condom (FC2)
- Participated in a fashion show by creating our own condom couture
- Engaged local and national media outlets such as the Washington Post Live, CNN, WAMU among others
- Lead the women's arm of the 'We Can End AIDS March' that emphasized the need to end violence against women
- Participated in funder workshops
- Co-hosted a gala in partnership with UNAIDS, PEPFAR, The NAMES Project Foundation, and ICW in honor of our agency's 20th anniversary
- Hosted tours of our agency for conference delegates
- Raised our visibility through a Metro campaign supported by Greater Than AIDS and the Ford Foundation
We were honored, humbled and awed to have been a part of the XIX International AIDS Conference and for all the opportunities to speak up and out with women and girls—to ensure access to lifesaving care and treatment; adequate funding for supportive services; the integration of HIV care and sexual and reproductive health; an end to violence against women and girls—and to demand our rightful place at the table.
We appreciated every moment of the conference to remember those we have lost, to celebrate our present, and for our shared commitment to the future.
We encourage you to look back on our work during the week by looking at our Facebook posts during the week of July 22-27.