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Activists mobilizing at International AIDS Conference

The year 2011 was a year marked with amazing advances in the global fight against HIV/AIDS:

● A groundbreaking National Institutes of Health (NIH) study demonstrated that antiretrovirals can reduce heterosexual HIV transmission by 96%.
● Economists created models showing that treating 6 million people by 2013 can prevent 12 million new infections by 2020 with cost savings in only 4 years.
● On World AIDS Day, Obama announced a commitment to treating 6 million people by 2013.

It was through many of your efforts, including letter and editorial writing as well as hosting events with your chapters, that this was possible.

2012 brings another opportunity to harness this momentum to continue the fight. The U.S. for the first time ever will be the host of the International AIDS Conference (IAC) from July 24-27th in Washington D.C. You, as an AMSA member, have an opportunity to attend this inspiring conference and join a huge mobilization in D.C. AMSA is an official anchor organization in the coalition of international human rights community groups that will converge in D.C. on July 24th during the IAC. The goal - to intensify political pressure to ensure access to life-saving HIV treatment and reduce new HIV infections. The IAC Coalition has developed a comprehensive platform of 12 demands regarding access to essential HIV/AIDS treatment (full platform attached to this email). We are hoping that you will join us in sending a strong message to policymakers that AMSA is dedicated to the goal of stopping HIV/AIDS. We are at a major turning point in HIV/AIDS history and now have the potential to be the generation that stops the HIV/AIDS pandemic. But, this cannot happen without your energy and presence at this pivotal conference.

There are countless ways for you to become involved with this mobilization and attend! Some of you may have already planned to attend and will be presenting posters or engaging in conference sessions. On July 24th, please make sure you set aside time to come out in your white coats and join the demonstration. We also need lots of help mobilizing other students from your own school. If you are interested in becoming a point person for such recruitment, please let us know so we can provide you with materials to get your peers as excited as we are to be a part of this effort. If you want to help out even further, we would love for you join our national outreach committee to coordinate other chapters around the country. Let us know if you want to get involved at any level or if you have any questions by filling this form out. Like us on Facebook too.

Even if you cannot come to D.C. in July, you can still make a difference and represent AMSA through visits to congressional members, letters-to-the-editor, and events at your school. These efforts, even at a local level, will signal to the international community present at the IAC that our nation’s medical students are invested in ensuring that President Obama keeps his promise to place 6 million people on treatment by 2013 and want to make a difference in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

As an AMSA member, you have the power to influence the direction of the HIV/AIDS pandemic this July. The science and economics are clear – the end of this disease IS in sight. We hope that you will join us in making this happen during our generation.

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