For almost two decades the United States was a pariah in the international community for its ban on individuals infected with HIV/AIDS from entering the country. President Obama lifted the ban in 2009, and human rights activists and public health professionals lauded the decision as “monumental” policy change.
Now, for the first time since 1990, the International AIDS Conference returns to the United States, and will feature a number of high-profile speakers and advocates for HIV/AIDS research and prevention, including former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and many more.
Also among the 21,000 attendees will be HIV-positive activists who seek to share their stories and recommendations for fighting the disease abroad as well as in the United States– particularly in places like Washington D.C., the conference’s host city. In recent years, D.C. has experienced an explosion in HIV/AIDS cases, with almost 2.7% of city residents now living with the disease.
Another group seeking to have their voice heard are women, who are disproportionately affected by the epidemic in many parts of the world, as discussed in the clip below.