It’s 1:42am and I am beat! Day 1 at the International AIDS Conference (IAC) ended with a pre-show and concert that went on for about 6 hours. My day started with the hectic registration process where you register at one end of the building and then have to pick up the schedule and other literature at the other end of the building. After running around frantically trying to finish the registration process and make it to a workshop, I got there and was slightly disappointed that I didn’t recognize anyone. I knew that 10 students from WUSC that I met in Botswana were going to the conference and I was hoping that they would be at the Youth Workshop. There is another workshop tomorrow that talks about international development with students and I’m hoping that I see them there. It would be a great treat to hang out with them for the week.
I met a nice student named Asad as I was sitting in the Youth Lounge. He’s going to be doing his Masters Degree Public Health in Philadelphia, USA. He’s really handy to know because when certain health terminology is used that I don’t recognize, he always knows what it means because of his health background. He explained what microbicides were: topical or oral protection that women can use to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. I thought that this was a fantastic concept. Why just leave the HIV/AIDS protection in the hands of men? Especially in a world where many women do not have a say on whether or not protection is used. If developed, this could really empower women.
Before the concert, there were many speakers including Bill and Melinda Gates, Alicia Keys, and Canadian Politicians. Their messages were loud and clear: it is time to deliver, which is the theme of IAC. I found each of them to be inspiring in their own way.
Well I’m off to get some rest so I can start IAC Day 2 energized and ready to learn, have fun, and contribute.