This book includes a plain text version that is designed for high accessibility. To use this version please follow this link.
born just like me — free of HIV. Every single one. Please, I am begging: Let us make this world an AIDS-free generation.” People wiped their eyes and looked at


one another and shook their heads, and they applauded. The opening session continued for another hour. Then the meeting was declared open, and over the next five days, it became clear just how well Florence and Ebube had captured the heart of the profoundly human and human- izing International AIDS Conference. The meeting hadn’t been held in the United


States since 1990, during the depths of the plague years, and in an interview with Convene a few weeks before, Tiffany Gilliard, head of the local secretariat for AIDS 2012, had said: “It is my hope that people who aren’t talking about HIV and AIDS will start to talk about it again. The stigma will be erased to some degree because this confer- ence [will have] been so widespread. The media will cover it from various angles, from human- interest stories to real science stories. I just hope people are talking about HIV and AIDS again, at the fevered pitch they were talking about it 20 years ago.” Just by sharing their story, Florence and Ebube demonstrated why they must.


T


here is a very simple reason why the AIDS conference hadn’t met in the United States for 22 years: The International AIDS


Society (IAS), which organizes the biannual meet- ing, had forbidden it. In 1987, the United States enacted a ban on HIV-positive foreign visitors, and five years later, IAS decided that the conference would no longer be held in any country with such a policy. The last International AIDS Conference held in the United States was in San Francisco in 1990, and while the last two decades have seen AIDS transformed from an unstoppable scourge to a somewhat manageable epidemic, at least in the developed world, it’s happened without the par- ticipation of the world’s most popular destination for international association meetings. But in October 2009, the Obama administra-


Generations HIV- free Ebube Francais Taylor and her HIV-positive mother, Florence Uche Ignatius, at AIDS 2012’s opening.


PCMA.ORG


tion overturned the ban on HIV-positive visitors — finishing a process begun a year earlier by the Bush administration — and barely a month later, it was announced that AIDS 2012 would be coming not just to the United States but to Washington, D.C., which in addition to being the nation’s capital claims its highest rate of HIV infection. “While


SEPTEMBER 2012 PCMA CONVENE 53


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112