Washington, DC — The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is thrilled to announce that Chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) David Furnish will give a keynote address at a special opening plenary focused on gay men at the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), slated to take place November 10-13, 2011 in Chicago, IL. Joining Mr. Furnish in addressing the plenary will be CNN Anchor Don Lemon, Arizona State Senator Jack Jackson, former Project Runway contestant Mondo Guerra.*
Mr. Furnish serves as chairman EJAF both in the U.S. and the U.K., taking an active leadership role as a public speaker on behalf of the Foundation, writing editorials on the epidemic, and traveling the world as an ambassador to develop partnerships with like-minded organizations. Mr. Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during the weekend and serves as correspondent across CNN's U.S. programming. He recently came out as a gay man in his book, Transparent. Senator Jackson is a long-time HIV/AIDS activist and was recently appointed to the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Mr. Guerra made national headlines when he came out as both gay and HIV-positive on Project Runway.
This year's USCA target population is gay men.
"We are extremely excited about this important session," said NMAC Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. "Just last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new estimates of HIV infections in the U.S. that highlighted the devastating impact this epidemic continues to have on gay and bisexual men, especially gay men of color. Young gay men age 19 to 29 account for approximately 27 percent of all new infections, and the number of infections among young African American gay and bisexual men of the same age doubled between 2006 and 2009. What's more, for the first time ever, Latino gay and bisexual men now account for more annual HIV infections than African American women."
Also participating in this critically important session will be singer and Broadway legend, Jennifer Holiday. Jennifer is a long-time supporter of the gay community and ally in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She is most commonly known for her Tony award-winning performance in Dreamgirls and her Grammy Award-winning song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."
USCA is the nation's largest annual AIDS-related gathering, bringing together over 3,000 workers representing all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic — from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, people living with HIV/AIDS and policymakers — to build national support networks, exchange the latest information and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges posed by this epidemic.
To learn more about this year's USCA and to register to cover the conference, visit the registration page www.2011usca.org .
*Awaiting confirmation on invited Asian/Pacific Islander participant.