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.