WASHINGTON, DC — The extensive program for last week’s International AIDS Conference boasted renowned speakers, politicians, and established leaders in the fight against AIDS. Indeed, speeches by Secretary Clinton and former President Clinton were bookends to a week filled with expert panel discussions, sessions featuring Whoopi Goldberg and Elton John, and discussions with representatives from PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and UNAIDS. An AIDS-free generation became catch-phrase of the week.
But down an escalator, hidden in the back corner of the global village — an area of the conference center set up with booths for advocacy groups from around the world — a lesser-known constituency discussed its ideas about issues of treatment, prevention, and stigma.
These are the youth — the next generation of leaders in the fight against AIDS.