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Planned Parenthood Statement on the 2012 International AIDS Conference
The United States is hosting the XIX International AIDS Conference July 22-27 in Washington, DC, a gathering of scientists, advocates, and world leaders. The conference was last held in the U.S. in 1990. In the intervening 22 years, a national policy banning any person with HIV from entering the country as a visitor or immigrant has prevented the U.S. from hosting the meeting. Congress voted in 2008 to eliminate the HIV travel ban, which President Bush signed into law, and in 2009 President Obama lifted the ban.
“Having the International AIDS Conference here in the U.S. marks a significant human rights victory and an opportunity for those of us engaged in the fight against AIDS in this country to connect with the global health community,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
As part of its comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood health centers work toward the prevention and detection of HIV. In 2010, Planned Parenthood conducted 575,000 HIV tests. Planned Parenthood is also the largest sex educator in the U.S., providing comprehensive education programs to more than one million participants annually.
“Planned Parenthood is committed to fighting for the healthiest generation and as part of that goal is joined in the fight for an AIDS-free generation,” said Richards.
In addition to its domestic work, Planned Parenthood works overseas to ensure that women, men, and young people in some of the world’s most neglected areas have access to the health care they need to control their bodies and their futures. Planned Parenthood Global, the organization’s international division, partners with local advocates, medical service providers, and youth leaders in 10 countries to build sustainable networks and fight for more inclusive laws and policies. As part of this work, Planned Parenthood Global helps partners working on HIV prevention and treatment to incorporate family planning into their programs.
Follow Planned Parenthood Global on Twitter (@ppglobe) for updates from the XIX International AIDS Conference and beyond.