|Panel opening the discussion of AIDS treatment study called SMART|
Once I got to the convention and located Melissa Turner who had my pass I went with her to the hall for 1,400 people to see our team and it's representatives speak about SMART a large simple trial that was intended to help us know what was the best treatment plan for HIV... That talk included a lot of people and was very quick and not very hard to follow. Everyone on the panel seemed to have their story ready to go and not many questions were asked. That isn't usually the case in these types of events. I guess since we were talking about history and a successful trail it was less controversial than some other stages of research which are more contentious and more is at stake for the presenters and attendees.
I stuck around for the big opening night event with a lot of celebrities but the room wasn't big enough for everyone so I ended up watching some of it on a TV screen which didn't tell us who was talking and unless you paid close attention we were left in the dust wondering who that was up there... until the Mayor came on screen. I know his face and I heard him make a false claim about no babies being born in WDC with HIV since 2009. DC is the worst city in the country for HIV infections and still they don't have a plan to address the epidemic here so I turned my back and headed out to meet my man Keith at the Union Station on his return from three weeks at his parents mountain home.
It was a thrill to see the talk and to wear the big badge again but I am not the activist I once was, I am lucky to be alive and going to these meetings always reminds me of all the people who have died and didn't get to come along on this long journey. It makes me sad yet it is amazing how far the research has come in so few years. A cure may be around the corner it's hard to tell but with all this progress of the 25 years I have been watching I can't be certain it isn't just months away from coming to light.
I am off tonight to another event for our research group at Ben's Chill Bowl that famous hot dog place on U St. tonight and I am looking forward to some more time with these people I share history with in AIDS research. Tomorrow there is a big march to step off at Noon. Calling for a cure and attention to AIDS treatment and an end to discrimination and criminalization of infected people. Then On Wednesday a show at 5:00 and 7:00 by the group from Thailand that does theater and dance with condom costumes. My friend Cameron Wolf brought his photos of them and their outreach program members to tell us about their work in Bangkok. I can't wait to see them do their traditional temple dances of folk mythology. It's free so if you want to see it too drop in to the lower level of the conference look for the Global Village and the Youth programs section and the huge photos of sepia toned dancers.
|INSIGHT Director introduced Dr. Fauci visible standing in the blue lights|
|Dr. Anthony Fauci director of NIAID NIH opened the discussion of SMART and all it's benefits|
|Richard Jefferys came from NYC to give us a community history from the activist point of view on reasons for and reactions to results of the SMART study.|
|This was the first slide Jefferys presented about Ken Fornataro's AIDS Treatment Data Network|
|Melissa Turner social worker at Washington VA left Dr. Molina from France, Nathan Geffen community rep. South Africa and Judy Currier MD Los Angles.|
|Melissa Turner social worker from Washington Vets Admin. hospital on screen when she was presenting next to French Dr. Jean-Michel Molina the AIDS researcher from Paris.|
|Melissa Turner on big screen|