Prime Minister heads 2012 St. Maarten AIDS 2012 Delegation in Washington DC

PM specially invited guest at event honoring Bill Gates

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot Williams arrived in the United States on Friday heading the eleven member St. Maarten Delegation to the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) currently being held in Washington DC. 

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During the conference the Prime Minister will be chairing the session on addressing HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination with the aim of changing the effects of HIV stigma within local communities. The Prime Minister will also be a featured speaker at the Regional Session: Sustainable Development and HIV – A Caribbean Agenda, also during the AIDS 2012 Conference. The St. Maarten delegation will also be giving a poster presentation entitled “Safe Secrets” at the international AIDS conference. St. Maarten’s presentation was chosen out of thousands of submissions requesting space to present at the conference.
The Prime Minister was also amongst specially invited guests honoring world renowned philanthropist Bill Gates at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. During the event Bill Gates was honored for his courage in investing in many organizations committed to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
AmfAR and GBC Health organized the event under the theme “Together to End Aids”. amfAR is the foundation for HIV Research and is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to supporting HIV research, HIV prevention, education and advocacy. GBCHealth is a coalition of more than 200 member companies and organizations committed to investing resources to make a healthier world.
Other influential persons who attended the benefit in the fight against the pandemic were Kenneth Cole, Chairman of amfAR; John Demsey, Chairman MAC AIDS Fund; Recording artist and spoke person for MAC cosmetics, Eve; actor, activist and humanitarian Sharon Stone; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader; Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS; and John Tedstrom, CEO GBCHealth.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest international meeting on a single health issue. Every two years 20,000 participants representing all stakeholders in the global response to HIV meet to assess progress and identify future priorities. The AIDS 2012 conference is the single most widely covered HIV event in the world and is organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS) in partnership with a number of international and local partners. The conference theme, “Turning the Tide Together”, emphasizes that the HIV epidemic has reached a defining moment and that by acting decisively on recent scientific advances in HIV treatment and biomedical prevention, the hope for a cure and the continuing evidence of the ability to scale-up key interventions in the most-needed settings there is now the potential to end the HIV epidemic.