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Celebrating World AIDS Day 2012
In recognition of World AIDS Day, ICAP offices around the globe are hosting events to promote HIV testing, treatment, and care. From HIV/AIDS and STI sensitization activities among miners in the Kayes region of Mali to HIV testing and cervical cancer screening in Tanzania, ICAP and partners are meeting with communities this weekend to shine a light on the available life-saving information and health services.
In New York, ICAP hosted two special events—one that looked back on how far we have come in the fight against AIDS, and another that looked forward to what it will take to reach an AIDS-free generation.
On Wednesday, November 28, ICAP hosted a screening of How to Survive a Plague, the 2012 critically acclaimed documentary that tells the story of the young men and women who successfully reversed the tide of the AIDS epidemic in the US, demanded the attention of the nation and transformed HIV from a death sentence to a chronic manageable condition. The film documents the activism of two coalitions, ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), and presents the challenges and successes of the movement. An official selection of the Sundance Film Festival 2012 and a winner of the 2012 Gotham Independent Film Award, How to Survive a Plague depicts a moving, inspirational story that speaks to the power of determination and community.
The full-house screening on Wednesday night opened with a special introduction and panel discussion featuring leading HIV/AIDS activists, including Mark Harrington of TAG and Peter Staley of AIDSmeds (who are both featured in the film) along with Laura Pinsky, founder of the Gay Health Advocacy Project, and David Hoos, Senior Implementation Director at ICAP. With ICAP Director Wafaa El-Sadr as the moderator, panelists shared personal stories of their lifelong commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic. Peter Staley spoke of the critical need for activists and researchers to continually work together, and when asked to share lessons learned as an activist, Mark Harrington advised: “By working together you can create something beautiful and better.”
On Thursday November 29, ICAP and the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health November hosted a symposium entitled, “Eliminating pediatric HIV: Hype vs. hope.” This day-long event centered on the issue of the elimination of pediatric HIV globally, within the context of other health imperatives faced by many of the most severely affected countries and in the context of fragile health systems. The Symposium featured talks on current scientific and innovative approaches to preventing HIV transmission in children and maintain the health of mothers as well as discussion of the health systems challenges faced in attempting to achieve the goal of elimination of pediatric HIV infection.