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U.S. Conference on AIDS Underway this Week in Las Vegas

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The U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA), one of the major meetings focused on the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, is taking place this week in Las Vegas. Among the major themes are advances in HIV prevention, disparities in HIV epidemiology and access to care, implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and how healthcare reform will affect people with HIV. Follow blog.Aids.gov for reports throughout the conference.

Prior to the main conference, approximately 150 people gathered for the Summit to End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in America, according to a report from blog.Aids.gov. Organized by the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), the meeting brought together directors of community-based organizations, senior state and local health department staff, and leaders from community health centers.

Summit participants released the Declaration to END HIV/AIDS in America, developed by a "blue-ribbon" panel including representatives from more than 100 community-based, public, and private organizations as well as governmental leaders and people living with HIV/AIDS. The declaration sets forth how to translate groundbreaking research into an end to HIV/AIDS.

"For the first time in over thirty years, it is possible to realistically envision an end to HIV/AIDS," said NMAC Director of Legislative and Public Affairs Kali Lindsey in an agency press release. "Scientific advances like treatment as prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis have provided exciting new tools to combat the spread of HIV, while the Affordable Care Act will greatly expand access to care for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. But ending this epidemic will not be easy. Today, leaders from all over the United States signed the Declaration to End HIV/AIDS in America to publicly commit themselves to making this dream a reality."

The entire Declaration can be viewed online at http://nmac.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DeclarationToEndAIDSInAmerica_FINAL.pdf.

Highlights of the first day of the conference included 2 plenary sessions, one focusing on HIV/AIDS among women and "behavioral health," including substance use and mental illness. Wendy Williams hosted the day’s second plenary session, a special edition of her talk show featuring several guests including Magic Johnson.

See the full Day 1 report from bog.Aids.gov and look for further reports throughout the week.

10/2/12

Sources

Aids.gov. 2012 U.S. Conference on AIDS -- Highlights from Pre-Conference Summit to End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in America. Blog.Aids.gov. October 1, 2012.

V Yakovchenko. U.S. Conference on AIDS -- Highlights from Day 1. Blog.Aids.gov. October 1, 2012.

National Minority AIDS Council. HIV Leaders Unveil Historic Declaration to End HIV/AIDS in America. Press release. September 29, 2012.