WASHINGTON (October 21, 2013) – Hundreds of health-care providers, public health officials, activists, students, faith leaders, people affected by HIV and experts from across the globe will gather for the fourth annual International Conference on Stigma on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. The event will be webcast live at the conference website and can be accessed all over the world.
The daylong conference will seek strategies to eliminate the stigma associated with HIV that keeps those affected from seeking proper care and treatment and protecting others. The event will take place in the Howard University Blackburn Center Ballroom at 8 a.m. Participants can register for as little as $10, and for those unable to pay, scholarships are available. The conference welcomes both health professionals and community members interested in learning more about HIV and stigma.
“Stigma robs individuals of their basic human rights and is the major reason why the HIV epidemic continues,” said Dr. Sohail Rana, conference director and professor of pediatrics at Howard University College of Medicine. “We are all responsible for this stigma, and we must work together to eliminate it.”
The conference is hosted by Howard University in partnership with several organizations, including the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), Community Education Group and the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) and will feature some of the world’s top HIV/AIDS experts and activists.
Keynote speakers include Jeanne White Ginder, AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, who first brought HIV stigma to national attention in 1984 when he was expelled from his school after he was diagnosed with HIV; and Darius Mans, Ph.D., president and chief executive of Africare, a leading international development organization in Africa. Other presenters include community activists from around the country, representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), as well as speakers from Puerto Rico, Uganda and the Caribbean.
“We have an outstanding program with experts from around the globe,” said Dr. Rebecca Vargas-Jackson, co-director of the conference and professor of pediatrics at Howard University College of Medicine. “We are confident the audience will find the interactive and lively format educational, appealing and inspiring.”