I know that activists all around the country like myself are so thrilled that the International AIDS Conference is being hosted in Washington, D.C., this week. As I said in my recent op-ed in POLITICO, the United States is an indispensable partner in the fight against AIDS -– and while more must be done, I’m so proud to stand alongside some of the leaders in this fight to reflect on all we’ve accomplished.
On Saturday, hundreds gathered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to reflect on the progress achieved after 30 years of fighting the HIV crisis. The likes of Bill Gates, Alicia Keys, and Barbara Bush were joined by Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, Kay Warren, Tony Fauci, and many more –- all to honor those we’ve lost and celebrate those we’ve saved.
Washington is lampooned for being a place where the left and right can’t agree on anything -– but we know that’s not the case. Thanks to programs like PEPFAR and the Global Fund, 8 million HIV-positive people around the world now have access to life-saving treatment. Those numbers don’t lie –- even our good friends Rep. Barbara Lee and former Senator Norm Coleman took the stage, side by side, to rally against an HIV free generation.
With the proper investments and prevention techniques, the number of people receiving treatment with ARVs each year could overtake the number of new infections every year. My challenge to you is this: during this week’s International AIDS Conference, reflect on how you can have a direct impact on the fight against AIDS. If you haven’t already, sign our petition and make a digital quilt patch to make a difference right now.
The beginning of the end of AIDS is within our reach, but fight isn’t finished. We need your help to get all the way to zero. Stay tuned this week for more information on the IAC and events going on -– and as always, thanks for the work you all do.