It seems so recent that I was shilling for funds to go to Rome for the AIDS 2011 conference. But it’s been almost a year since the beginning of that effort. Now AIDS 2012 is approaching and this time it’s in Washington, DC.
This is the first World AIDS conference in the United States for over 20 years. Finally, this conference has returned, and the reason is simple: the US lifted the HIV travel ban. Yes, it’s unbelievable, but the country with the highest rate of HIV in the developed world banned HIV-infected people from other countries from entering the US.
While there was some talk of going to DC this year, I have yet to confirm my own participation. This isn’t because I’m not willing. Rather it’s fallout from last year’s intense series of events and developments. From Rome to the San Francisco ballot measure, it was a lot to deal with and I’m still recovering.
Things could still change. I hope that others are working behind the scenes to make a splash there. We’ve recently gained some traction in Africa with our message. This is a chance to extend that progress. We must keep up the pressure that circumcision is a dangerous distraction that will only take away resources from other efforts and likely increase HIV where it is promoted.