The Daily Agenda for Sunday, July 22

Jim Burroway

July 22nd, 2012

XIX International AIDS Conference: Washington, D.C. For the first time since 1990, the United States will play host to the biennial International AIDS Conference, which is the largest regular conference on HIV and AIDS. The conference theme this year is “Turning the Tide Together,” in recognition that:

The HIV epidemic has reached a defining moment. By acting decisively on recent scientific advances in HIV treatment and biomedical prevention, the momentum for a cure, and the continuing evidence of the ability to scale-up key interventions in the most-needed settings, we now have the potential to end the HIV epidemic.

Advocacy groups, service organizations, International NGO’, researchers, healthcare givers and many more will be gathering together to share key research findings, best practices, and identify knowledge gaps to help determine avenues for further research. The conference is expected to attract between 20,000 and 25,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries. The main venue will be the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, with several organizations planning various other related events throughout the D.C. metro era. The conference will continue through Friday, July 27.

AIDS Quilt Display: Washington, D.C. As delegates gather for the XIX International AIDS Conference, the Names Project will display sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt this week on the National Mall and at more than fifty other locations throughout the Washington, D.C. area, beginning yesterday and continuing through Wednesday, July 25. A total of 35,200 panels — 8,800 different panels per day — will be displayed on the National Mall between 8th to 14th Streets, east of the Washington Monument. If you are looking for a specific panel, the Names Project has an AIDS Quilt Touch mobile web app to help locate it for you.

Keep the Promise March and Rally: Washington, D.C. In conjunction with the XIX International AIDS Conference, there will be a march and rally of thousands of AIDS advocates  this afternoon prior to the conference opening. Rally speakers include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Wyclef Jean, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Ambassador Andrew Young. The march begins at 2:00 at the Washington Monument and will go up 15th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, then continue Southeast to the U.S. District Court building near the U.S. Capitol.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Charlotte, NC (Black Pride); Colorado Springs, CO; Frankfurt, Germany; Hull, UK; Kitsap, WA; Portland, OR (Latino Pride); Rochester, MN; San Diego, CA; and Tampere, Finland.

Other Events This Weekend: Sand Blast Weekend, Asbury Park, NJ; Outfest Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA; QFest Film Festival, Philadelphia, PA.

Emily Saliers: 1963. A singer-songwriter and one half of Indigo Girls, she plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and the Greek bouzouki. She met her Indigo Girls partner, Amy Ray, when they were in elementary school together in Decatur, Georgia. Both Girls are lesbian, although Saliers jokes that she prefers “gay” because “lesbian has three syllables.” In 2004, Saliers co-wrote a book with her father, retired theology professor Don Saliers, titled A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice, and the two of them conducted a combined book tour and church appearances around the country, including a stop at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  The Indigo Girls released their latest album, Beauty Queen Sister, last October, and they are currently touring with a full band, including several joint appearances with symphonic orchestras in select cities.

Rufus Wainwright: 1973. His mother was the late Kate McGarrigle, and his father is Loudon Wainwright III. With genes like that, it’s no wonder Rufus won a 1989 Genie Award for Best Original Song when he was only fourteen sixteen years old. Rolling Stone named his eponymous debut album as one of the best albums of the year and named him the Best New Artist of 1998. When he was younger, he said that he wasn’t much of a marriage equality supporter. But now that he and his partner, Jörn Weisbrodt, became parents earlier this year, all that has changed. They are engaged to be married in August in Montauk, New York. His seventh studio album, Out of the Game, was released last April. He has just completed a European tour and is now touring the U.S.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?

F Young

July 22nd, 2012

Ahead of the international AIDS conference, Michel Sidibé, the Executive Director of the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, posted an article entitled: “The AIDS Response Owes a Great Debt to LGBT Communities“

Here are some excerpts:
“Thanks to the LGBT community’s early demands for the accelerated approval of medicines and universal access to treatment, today eight million people in low- and middle-income countries are alive and on HIV treatment. They have secured the right to health for millions.”
“Today’s treatment success sprang from this bold and ‘outside the box’ grassroots leadership of the LGBT community in the 1980s and ’90s.”

Bishop Tutu also recently published an article condemning anti-gay laws:

Yet, in Africa, where HIV is mainly a heterosexual disease and heterosexuals have benefited the most from this lesbian and gay activism, LGTs are usually excluded from HIV/AIDS programs and are mercilessly persecuted and scapegoated.

Meanwhile, the churches that have often led this persecution, many of which have gotten AIDS funding, have facilitated AIDS transmission by condemning or marginalizing condom use, refusing to distribute lubricants, and promoting ineffective abstinence-only sex education directed exclusively at heterosexuals.

Ben in Oakland

July 22nd, 2012

In 1989, he must have been 16, not 14.


July 23rd, 2012

Next generation musical royalty per wiki: In 2011, Wainwright announced that he and Leonard Cohen’s daughter, Lorca Cohen, had had a child. He announced on his website: “Darling daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen was born on February 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, California to proud parents Lorca Cohen, Rufus Wainwright, and Deputy Dad Jorn Weisbrodt.””

BTW, if you don’t know the music of Rufus’ mother and his aunt, here’s a classic to give you an easy intro and a smile.


July 24th, 2012

Very disappointed with this year’s AIDS Conference in Washington DC. Because America’s immigration policy is highly discriminative towards vulnerable groups in Asia. Because of that, they don’t have representation in the conference.

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