Monday, September 08, 2008

AIDS 2008, Press Conference Tuesday, August 5

We gave a press conference on HIV/AIDS and Deaf issues on Tuesday. Unfortunately, because we were opposite a big formal press conference (and because few people think about issues of HIV/AIDS and disabilities), no one came into our little press conference room. With the encouragement of the press conference staff, we took our press conference out into the press hall and Voice of America recorded interviews with Donald Pilling for their Latin American program and then (on Wednesday) with Washington Opiyo for their African program. What we wanted to tell the world about were the dismal statistics on HIV/AIDS rates in the US Deaf community and the innovative programs being developed in Canada and Kenya to combat AIDS.

That evening, however, we cheered up as we met a number of Deaf and hearing Mexican leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS including Ernesto Escobedo, president of the Union Nacional de Sordos de Mexico, Erik Arelleno, and Sandra Oliver. Before we got to Mexico City, we didn't know what kind of education efforts were being done in the Deaf community so we were very glad to find and join with an already active outreach program. Through Ernesto and his colleagues and Gaspar Sanabria and the Mexican Federation of Deaf People we were able to put out the word to a large number of people in the Mexico City Deaf community about our outreach program on Thursday evening.


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