Eighth Annual AIDS Update to be held March 17
DURHAM, N.C. -- The stigma of HIV/AIDS means many people
with the disease suffer in silence, says John Paul Womble, who
was diagnosed with HIV 10 years ago.
The eighth annual HIV/AIDS Treatment Update, to be held at
the Durham Marriott on Wednesday, March 17, offers comfort to
those who feel isolated, Womble said.
"The common bond we all share is living with HIV. To gather
with one another, to talk to someone who is going through some,
if not all, of what you go through is enormously powerful and
healing," said Womble, president of the North Carolina AIDS
The event, which is free and open to the public, is expected
to draw 400 to 600 people from across North Carolina. The
Treatment Update includes information on cutting-edge medical
treatment for HIV/AIDS from Duke University Medical Center and
University of North Carolina doctors. Workshops and group
discussions will focus on preventing HIV infection,
self-advocacy, youth sessions, community resources and coping
with HIV/AIDS for patients and caregivers.
People infected or affected by HIV/AIDS can share their
experiences anonymously with trained students who will record
the stories. The stories will be presented to state legislators
following the Treatment Update.
Refreshments and break-out sessions begin at 4:30 p.m. and
end at 6:20 p.m. Two short films starring Magic Johnson and
Hydeia Broadbent, a teen who was infected at birth, will be
shown from 5:15 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.
An awards session and formal program, during which John
Bartlett, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center, and Joseph
Eron, M.D., of UNC Hospitals, will answer questions and discuss
HIV/AIDS treatment and research, takes place from 6:20 p.m. to
9 p.m. Bartlett is the clinical research director of the Duke
University AIDS Research and Treatment Center and a professor
of medicine. His research focuses on the treatment of AIDS and
HIV infection. Eron is an associate professor of medicine at
UNC and director of the UNC AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.
Womble and Patrick Lee, of the NC Council for Positive
Living, will speak about becoming politically active and
influencing HIV public policy and planning both locally and
nationally. Geneva Vauters, who is HIV-positive, will describe
peer education training and how becoming a peer advocate
affected her life.
The Treatment Update is held at the Durham Marriott Hotel
and Civic Center, 201 Foster St. and is sponsored by the
community advisory boards of the Duke AIDS Research and
Treatment Center and the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill Center for AIDS Research, the Piedmont HIV Health
Care Consortium and Duke University Medical Center.
Simultaneous Spanish and American sign-language translations
will be provided. Some transportation assistance may be
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For more information, call Trish Bartlett, outreach
coordinator for the Adult HIV Clinic at Duke University Medical
Center, at (919) 668-0166.