African Leaders Gather in St. Louis for Fundraising Summit to ‘Coordinate Efforts’ Against AIDS in Africa
Representatives from 15 African nations are gathering in St. Louis, Mo., today for a two-day summit meeting to discuss the AIDS epidemic in Africa and raise funds for new clinics, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The conference is sponsored by Africans United Against AIDS Globally, a not-for-profit organization founded in August by St. Louis-area AIDS activist Tiahmo Ra-uf and singer Robert Bell of the musical group Kool and the Gang. The meeting will include discussions, led by African experts, "about the current state of HIV/AIDS in Africa." In addition, St. Louis University and Washington University medical professionals will share information about advancements in medical treatments for HIV/AIDS. The event will also feature a dinner and a televised fundraiser including a concert given by Kool and the Gang. The sponsoring organization intends to build new clinics in "each African country or ... renovate existing structures." Ra-uf said that each clinic will cost $200,000 to build, and each laboratory will cost an additional $75,000. The organization also hopes to work with African governments to establish the necessary "infrastructure for the proper storage and administration" of HIV/AIDS medicines. Ra-uf called the meeting a "solution-oriented summit" that he hopes will bring together "U.S. AIDS experts, citizens, community leaders and officials in a collective effort to lay groundwork for broader and better coordinated efforts in seeking solutions to the AIDS epidemic" (Hollinshed, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.