The International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC
Enlarge image (© International AIDS Conference) Upwards of 20,000 experts are descending on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the US capital this week for the International AIDS Conference, an event organized by the International AIDS Society. At AIDS 2012, by which the series of discussions and presentations is also known, researchers, policymakers and all those dedicated to ending AIDS will gather to pool their knowledge, sharing the ideas at the forefront of science, and then translating today's discoveries into new ways to treat and prevent the disease.
Germany's federal health minister, Daniel Bahr, opened Germany's booth at the conference on July 22, and hosted a discussion at Washington's Goethe Institut on July 23 that directed its focus on human rights in the context of HIV and AIDS.
Human rights forms the crux of the German position on fighting this disease. Specifically, this stance is concerned with stopping discrimination and stigmatization, two unfortunate side effects of the disease.
Enlarge image AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC (© GIZ) Also seminal is keeping up the fight, even at a time when treatment for AIDS/HIV seems to be making strides, as Minister Bahr reminded: “Now, as people are hearing that medicine is getting better HIV/AIDS is being taken lightly and protection is not taken so seriously,” he told German news agency dapd. “This should not happen – that would be a big mistake.”
Taking human rights as a cornerstone means that the continuing fight against AIDS cannot be compartmentalized within borders. Instead, and with consideration for all the social- and health-related dimensions of a strategy, Germany's solution considers that this is a global disease and therefore a worldwide concern.
Two hundred countries' delegates are now in Washington working in exactly such a spirit, and they will continue to spearhead global solutions to HIV/AIDS. The International AIDS Conference, which began on July 22, will run through July 27.