The 3rd annual International conference on Stigma, will take place Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 in the Howard University Blackburn Center.  This free, open to the public, all-day conference will feature notable HIV/AIDS scientists and clinicians such as Dr. Sohail Rana, a professor of pediatrics at the Howard University College of Medicine; and Nick DeLuca, Ph.D, the Prevention Communication Branch Chief in the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Others speakers include Jeanne White Ginder, AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, a Kokomo, Ind., teenager who was expelled from middle school in the 1980’s after he became infected with HIV from a blood transfusion; Dr. Gregory Pappas, director of the office of HIV/AIDS for the District of Columbia; Charles Stephens,  regional organizer for AIDS United; Daniel Montoya, deputy executive director for the National Minority AIDS Council; Priscilla Reddy, Ph.D., unit director of Health Promotion Research and Development Unit for the Medical Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa; Maria Alvarez, lead public health advisor for the CDC; Wardah M. Rajab-Gyagenda, Ph.D., director of research for the Publications and Innovations Islamic University in Uganda, and Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, of the Touch of Hope Foundation in Gurgaon, India.

Workshop panels include “Youth,” “Faith Based Ministries – Challenges and Lessons Learned,” “Stigma in Immigrant Populations: African and Latino Perspectives,” and “Designing Peer Driven Disclosure Focused Intervention as a Means for Addressing and Reducing HIV Related Stigma”.

Despite significant advances in treatment, HIV continues to spread unabated in the US and globally with little, if any, change in the rate of new infections. Stigma, a degrading attitude towards those with HIV/ AIDS, is a major barrier to HIV prevention and treatment that has not been addressed. Each year, the conference focuses on ways to combat the stigma associated with HIV.

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