September 8, 2018

One Reason This Week’s AIDS Conference Is Different From Past Years

Written by AIDS United

At the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS, there has been much that could be considered familiar, yet inspiring. As has been the case in past years, 2018’s USCA in Orlando, Florida, has shone a spotlight on the work, advocacy and lived experience of more than 3,000 people living with HIV and HIV advocates. During the first 2 days of the conference, AIDS United and dozens of AIDS service organizations and activists have provided attendees with a host of workshops and presentations focusing on a wide array of issues ranging from harm reduction strategies and the need for increased cultural competency in HIV care to far-reaching plans to end the AIDS epidemic by enlisting the knowledge and support of all aspects of the diverse and powerful HIV policy, research and advocacy community.

However, if there is one thing about this year’s USCA that is tangibly different than conferences past, it is the looming specter of the 2020 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) in San Francisco and Oakland, and the impact that the Trump administration’s policies may have on HIV advocates across the globe. At the opening plenary for USCA 2018, Naina Khanna of Positive Women’s Network-USA and Larry Walker of Thrive SS laid out their case for why the International AIDS Conference should not take place in the Bay Area in the summer of 2020, outlining myriad reasons why the political climate in America under the current administration is in hospitable.

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