Tuesday, December 01, 2009

World AIDS Day

Today marks the commemoration of World AIDS Day. As part of her World AIDS Day statement yesterday, Secretary Clinton announced that the 2012 International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington, DC, a direct result of the dropping of the US ban on HIV+ travellers coming to the United States.

Secretary Clinton said:

Today, I am pleased to announce that, with the repeal of the ban, the International AIDS Society will hold the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. This conference will draw together an estimated 30,000 researchers, scientists, policymakers, healthcare providers, activists, and others from around the world.

So as we look to 2012, we have to continue to seek a global solution to this global problem. On World AIDS Day, let us renew our commitment to ensuring that those infected and affected by HIV—the woman on treatment who is supporting her family, the child who dropped out of school to care for sick parents, the doctors and nurses without adequate resources— that all those who have joined together to fight this pandemic will someday live in a world where HIV/AIDS can be prevented and treated as a disease of the past.

This was the same statement where she gave some of the strongest criticism by the Administration so far of LGBT discrimination, saying:

Obviously, our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it, but also to combat discrimination more broadly. We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide. It is an unacceptable step backwards on behalf of human rights. But it is also a step that undermines the effectiveness of efforts to fight the disease worldwide.

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