The list of luminaries bringing their messages in person to the XIX International AIDS Conference lives up to the event’s “Turning the Tide Together” theme in a bipartisan sort of way, including as it does now: United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, fellow former First Lady Laura Bush, U.S. Sens. John Kerry (D. Mass) and Lindsay Graham (R. S.C). World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee and Nancy Pelosi also are among the recently confirmed to be making the trek to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the first International AIDS Conference to be held in the United States in a quarter century.
The update on celebrity appearances at the event comes the day after news from the White House that President Obama will “provide a brief video message to welcome Conference attendees from around the world to Washington.” The release says the president will thus be “continuing his personal engagement on this issue,” but not, apparently, by showing up in person. The White House will host a July 26th reception, to honor those living with HIV, and on the front lines of epidemic, with details coming.
Also attending the conference by video are Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Other previously confirmed headliners include Clinton Foundation founder and Former President Bill Clinton, philanthropist Bill Gates, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, actress Whoopi Goldberg, and singer Elton John.