November 23, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Howard Univ. to host HIV/AIDS conference
Gregory Pappas, gay news, Washington Blade

Dr. Gregory Pappas (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Internationally recognized experts on the AIDS epidemic and how prevention and treatment efforts continue to be hindered by the stigmatization of the disease are scheduled to speak at an International Conference on AIDS Stigma scheduled to be held Nov. 30 on the campus of Howard University.

Among the scheduled speakers is Jeanne White Ginder, longtime AIDS activist and mother of the late Ryan White, who attracted international attention in the 1980s when he fought AIDS discrimination as a child infected with HIV through treatment for hemophilia.

Other speakers include Dr. Gregory Pappas, director of the D.C. Office of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STDs and Tuberculosis; Dr. Sohail Rana, Professor of Pediatrics, Howard University College of Medicine; Daniel Montoya, Deputy Executive Director, National Minority AIDS Council; and Nick DeLuca, chief, Prevention and Communication Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

International experts on the subject of AIDS-related stigma scheduled to speak will be from such countries as Uganda, Peru and South Africa, according to a program summary released by organizers.

“Stigma is the worst abuse of human rights,” said Rana, the Howard pediatrics professor and lead organizer of the conference, in a statement. “It kills individuals and spreads disease.”

Titles of some of the panel sessions slated for the conference include:

• Faith Based AIDS Ministries – Challenges and Lessons Learned

• Stigma in Immigrant Populations: African and Latino Perspectives

• Best Practices in Addressing and Eradicating Stigma: Lessons Learned from Research

The conference, which is open to the public, is scheduled to take place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Howard University’s Blackburn Center Ballroom.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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