Public Health

A Walk Through The AIDS Conference's Global Village

  • "You've been condomized!" said Joy Lynn Alegarbes, of The Condom Project, which promoted safe sex at the 19th International AIDS Conference. The group handed out more than 850,000 condoms this week.
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    "You've been condomized!" said Joy Lynn Alegarbes, of The Condom Project, which promoted safe sex at the 19th International AIDS Conference. The group handed out more than 850,000 condoms this week.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Colorful flags and candies decorate the LGBT Networking Zone. More than 120 groups from around the world set up booths in the Global Village to distribute information about the AIDS epidemic.
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    Colorful flags and candies decorate the LGBT Networking Zone. More than 120 groups from around the world set up booths in the Global Village to distribute information about the AIDS epidemic.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Getting the word out about HIV was a major goal of the Global Village. Helena Nangombe from Namibia holds up a sign written by her friend during a session that aimed to promote communication about HIV.
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    Getting the word out about HIV was a major goal of the Global Village. Helena Nangombe from Namibia holds up a sign written by her friend during a session that aimed to promote communication about HIV.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • The International AIDS Conference is one of the only medical meetings that invites the public to come and share ideas through art, music and debates.
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    The International AIDS Conference is one of the only medical meetings that invites the public to come and share ideas through art, music and debates.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Choirs from churches and schools around the District of Columbia joined together on Thursday afternoon to perform a concert in the Global Village.
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    Choirs from churches and schools around the District of Columbia joined together on Thursday afternoon to perform a concert in the Global Village.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Music and dancing filled the Global Village from morning to evening, often spilling out into other parts of the convention center. Khadijan High, a member of the Dance Institute of Washington, performed a hip-hop routine for The Condom Project.
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    Music and dancing filled the Global Village from morning to evening, often spilling out into other parts of the convention center. Khadijan High, a member of the Dance Institute of Washington, performed a hip-hop routine for The Condom Project.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Cris Thomas, a teacher in Washington school system, said she came to the AIDS conference with a friend.
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    Cris Thomas, a teacher in Washington school system, said she came to the AIDS conference with a friend.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • A fashion show on Tuesday evening featured dresses decorated with female condoms. Here Olwin Manyanye from Zimbabwe prepared backstage for the show, which raised awareness for the growing need of female condoms.
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    A fashion show on Tuesday evening featured dresses decorated with female condoms. Here Olwin Manyanye from Zimbabwe prepared backstage for the show, which raised awareness for the growing need of female condoms.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of people marched from the Washington Convention Center to protest several issues related to AIDS, including high prices of HIV drugs and inequalities for women.
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    On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of people marched from the Washington Convention Center to protest several issues related to AIDS, including high prices of HIV drugs and inequalities for women.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • At a booth dedicated to people living with HIV, Michel Bourrelly from France handed the mic to Roger Yves from Cameroon to lead the group in an African song on Thursday afternoon.
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    At a booth dedicated to people living with HIV, Michel Bourrelly from France handed the mic to Roger Yves from Cameroon to lead the group in an African song on Thursday afternoon.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Women's garments hang from a clothesline at the Women's Network Area in the Global Health. The area promoted the diversity and pride of woman around the world.
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    Women's garments hang from a clothesline at the Women's Network Area in the Global Health. The area promoted the diversity and pride of woman around the world.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • A lubricant tasting booth in the Global Village set up by The Condom Project. The booth offered a variety of fruit flavors, as well as vegan and sugar-free options.
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    A lubricant tasting booth in the Global Village set up by The Condom Project. The booth offered a variety of fruit flavors, as well as vegan and sugar-free options.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Safe, Stupid or What? The Ashe Performing Arts Company, based in Kingston, Jamaica, performed a musical television game on Thursday in the Global Village. The show used song and dance to explain how HIV is transmitted.
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    Safe, Stupid or What? The Ashe Performing Arts Company, based in Kingston, Jamaica, performed a musical television game on Thursday in the Global Village. The show used song and dance to explain how HIV is transmitted.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Sophia (left) and Sarah Denison-Johnston of Berkeley, Calif., are 16-year-old twins, who are HIV-negative even though their mother was HIV-positive while pregnant with them. Their mother took part in one of the first clinical trials testing whether anti-retroviral drugs could successful block HIV transmission from mother to infant.
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    Sophia (left) and Sarah Denison-Johnston of Berkeley, Calif., are 16-year-old twins, who are HIV-negative even though their mother was HIV-positive while pregnant with them. Their mother took part in one of the first clinical trials testing whether anti-retroviral drugs could successful block HIV transmission from mother to infant.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR
  • Small steps forward and international cooperation are ingredients in the fight against AIDS. Elizabeth C. Otieno of Allentown, Pa., embodies this spirit. She was born in Kenya but is now an HIV case manager in the U.S.
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    Small steps forward and international cooperation are ingredients in the fight against AIDS. Elizabeth C. Otieno of Allentown, Pa., embodies this spirit. She was born in Kenya but is now an HIV case manager in the U.S.
    Benjamin Morris/NPR

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The 19th International AIDS Conference is wrapping up today in Washington, and it's been an exciting one.

Doctors said two more people have been nearly cleared of HIV. New data suggest that HIV treatment as prevention can be cost-effective. And, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton energized the political world by announcing plans to build a "blueprint" for reaching an "AIDS-free generation."

But the conference isn't just about charts, facts and clinical trials. There is a human side to the meeting that makes it unique among medical conferences.

It's home is the meeting's Global Village. That's the only part of the meeting open to the general public and free of admission. It's a place where people from around the world come together to share their ideas about the AIDS epidemic through art, performances, and debates.

This year, the Global Village contained more than 120 booths from 90 different countries, taking up 190,000 square feet of the conference center. Activists and advocates distributed information about human rights, safe sex, and the facts of living with HIV, while performance artists filled the convention center with a music and dance throughout the week.

Highlights at the Global Village this year included a female condom fashion show on Tuesday evening, a Jamaican musical television show from the Ashe Performing Arts Company on Thursday afternoon, and The Condom Project, which handed out more than 850,000 condoms during the week.

The Condom Project also ran a popular "lube tasting" booth, that even offered vegan and sugar-free options.

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