Will you join AMSA at the We Can End AIDS March on July 24th?
Please respond here to let us know!
On July 24, 2012, AMSA members will join numerous other organizations for the We Can End AIDS March in Washington DC, during the International AIDS Conference (IAC). The IAC is an important opportunity to intensify political pressure to ensure access to life-saving HIV treatment and reduce new HIV infections. The march will consist of five separate branches that will converge in a spirited rally at Lafayette Park. We are at a major turning point in HIV/AIDS history and now have the potential to be the generation that stops the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Change in HIV/AIDS policy cannot happen without your energy and presence at this pivotal conference.
Join Us on July 24th!
What is the International AIDS Conference?
The International AIDS Conference, held this year in Washington DC from July 22-27, is the premier meeting for those working in the field of HIV/AIDS, as well as policymakers, people living with HIV/AIDS, and others committed to ending the epidemic. This conference is held every two years and attracts over 20,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries. The delegates are scientists, researchers, community leaders, advocates and activists, government and business leaders.
Why is the conference so important?
This year’s conference is especially important as it will be held for the first time in the United States in over two decades in Washington DC, right in the backyard of our nation’s policymakers. The conference would have never been held in the United States due to a 22-year old travel ban against people with HIV, which in 2009 was lifted by President Obama.
What is the We Can End AIDS mobilization and why should I take part?
The year 2011 was a year marked with amazing advances in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The We Can End AIDS mobilization is a call to turn this knowledge into real political change. Within the last year, doctors and epidemiologists have discovered that anti-retroviral treatment (ART) is 96% effective in preventing transmission to an HIV negative-person. Equipped with this new prevention tool, economists and modelers have determined that we could effectively END AIDS within a generation. The International Aids Conference is an important opportunity to make sure policymakers worldwide hear us.
On Tuesday, July 24 in the streets and parks around the conference site, we will gather for a powerful mobilization called the We Can End AIDS March. The mobilization will start at noon during the conference lunch break and will consist of five separate arms on different themes that will converge in a spirited rally at Lafayette Park (right across from the White House) at 2 pm. AMSA is an anchor organization in a coalition of international health rights groups to show world leaders that we are paying attention and we care about the future of the AIDS pandemic. We will stand in white coats to symbolize the solidarity that we have with our IFMSA counterparts, health professional colleagues in poor countries, and most importantly, people living with HIV/AIDS who currently lack secure and reliable access to AIDS drugs.
For more information on the We Can End Aids march, platform, and partner organizations: http://www.wecanendaids.org/
What does the conference itself have to offer? Can I attend?
Registration as a conference delegate is open at http://www.aids2012.org/ or on-site in DC starting July 21st. Unregistered attendees still have the opportunity of attending the conference’s Global Village. The Global Village is a huge gathering with performances, film screenings, networking zones, NGO and marketplace booths and art exhibits. It is free and completely open to the public, and is a diverse and vibrant space where community gathers from all over the world to meet, share and learn from each other. The historic AIDS Memorial Quilt will also be on display at the National Mall during the conference.
For full conference and Global Village programming: http://pag.aids2012.org/
I’m interested in this but I need transportation/housing!
Great! We do have some options to help you come to DC. There is transportation available from AMSA and partner organizations if you are coming from New York City, Boston, Dallas, Baltimore or Philadelphia. For AMSA members driving with a group or a full car, we are able to cover your gas expenses. Housing with DC-area AMSA members may also be arranged.
I can’t make it to DC for the march—but what can I do to help?
You can still represent AMSA through visits to congressional members, letters-to-the-editor, and events at your school. These efforts, even at a local level, will signal to the international community present at the IAC that our nation’s medical students are invested in ensuring that President Obama keeps his promise to place 6 million people on treatment by 2013 and want to make a difference in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.