BY MICHAEL K. LAVERS
The International AIDS Conference is expected to draw more than 30,000 people from around the world to D.C. July 22-27.
Former President Bill Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush, Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby, “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg and singer Elton John are among those who are scheduled to speak at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The White House has yet to confirm whether President Obama will attend; California Rep. Barbara Lee and Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, are among those who are scheduled to speak at the opening session on July 22. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington is also slated to perform.
“We are gathering at a defining moment in the AIDS epidemic where the science tells us we can turn the tide on HIV,” said Dr. Elly Katabira, president of the International AIDS Society who serves as the conference’s international chair, and Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California-San Francisco, who is the U.S. co-chair of AIDS 2012, in a statement that officially welcomed delegates to the nation’s capital. “Scientific advances are also propelling towards the efforts to find a cure and vaccine for HIV. AIDS 2012 will unite science, community and leadership from around the globe to develop strategies and mobilize support for translating new evidence into meaningful action that reflects HIV’s complex web of social, human rights and political issues.”
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