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Special World AIDS Day Event with President Bill Clinton

(NEW YORK) On Tuesday, December 1, The Clinton Foundation and the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health will host a World AIDS day event featuring President Clinton. Clinton will discuss the current AIDS crisis and the progress both organizations have made in the fight against AIDS.

The Clinton Foundation

President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2005 in order to turn ideas into action and help the world become a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities and values. CGI is composed of a series of other initiatives committed to combating climate change, fighting childhood obesity, promoting economic opportunity, creating sustainable development in countries like Africa, Peru and Colombia as well as treating HIV/AIDS & malaria in the developing world.

The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative is expanding affordable treatment for HIV/AIDS because the organization feels that “virtually all social and economic goals in the developing world will be undermined if AIDS treatment is not made available to the more than six million people who are currently struggling to survive without it.” The Clinton Foundation website also list some staggering statistics related to the deadly disease, such as the fact that over 33 million adults and children live with HIV/AIDS, of those 33 million, 2.5 million were infected as recently as 2007 and 22.5 million of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Women compromise half of those statistics and mother-to-child transmission accounts for more than 90% of all HIV infections in infants and children.

Since its inception, The Clinton Foundation, through its HIV/AIDS Initiative has created accessible medical programs for more than 2 million people and has assisted 42 countries in obtaining access to the vaccine and reaching their most rural areas with medicinal supplies.

The International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs

The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health launched one of the first global programs, the ICAP, in 2002. The ICAP recognizes that women are disproportionately affected by HIV and has several initiatives with a strong focus on providing care and treatment to HIV infected women and their families.

They focus on preventive care, training, research and innovations. Although they have worked mostly in 14 African countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Zambia, the ICAP recently turned their attention the HIV epidemic in the U.S. with the inception of two HIV prevention studies: the Women’s HIV Seroincidence Study (ISIS) and the Broadening the Reach of Testing, Health Education, Resources and Services for Black Men who have Sex with Men (BROTHERS) Project.

“HIV remains a critical problem in the United States, a hidden and sadly forgotten epidemic,” said ICAP Global Director Wafaa El-Sadr, MD. “These two studies will allow us to develop key information that will help inform the design of future HIV prevention intervention studies in the United States.”

Since the HIV/AIDS pandemic began, more than 25 million lives have been lost to the disease. In 1988 World AIDS Day was chosen by the international community as a day in which organizations worldwide join forces to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. It is a day of special importance for both the Clinton Foundation and the ICAP because both organizations are committed to expanding awareness, prevention and medical treatment.

President Clinton, who is a skilled and motivational speaker, is sure to enlighten and motivate those attending the event into volunteering and joining the continuing battle against HIV/AIDS.

“CGI is evidence of something that I have always believed – that people are inherently generous, that giving makes you feel good, and that the only thing most of us are looking for is an opportunity to make a difference,” said Clinton.

Free admission tickets for tomorrow’s event were granted on a “first come, first served" basis to people in the New York area today, but for those unable to attend the event, a live webcast will be available for viewing. Simply register online and on Tuesday morning receive instructions via email for watching the webcast. Three registrants will also be randomly selected to receive a free copy of Bill Clinton’s My Life as well as tea produced by farmers that the Clinton Foundation works with in Rwanda.

The event begins at 12:15 p.m. EST