Several U.S. Celebrities Scheduled To Appear at XV International AIDS Conference
Several U.S. celebrities are slated to participate in the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, next month, Thailand's Nation reports. AIDS advocate and actor Richard Gere on July 12 is scheduled to officially launch the 2004 AIDS Film Festival in Siam Square with the Asian premier of the global AIDS documentary "A Closer Walk" (Khwankho, Thailand's Nation, 6/27). The film, by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Bilheimer, tells the stories of Paul Farmer, a Harvard professor and researcher who runs an AIDS clinic in Haiti; Hassan Semankula, a 15-year-old Ugandan teenager who dropped out of school to care for his family after his parents died of AIDS-related causes; Rev. Emanuel Cleaver, former Kansas City mayor and preacher at St. James United Methodist Church; the Dalai Lama; Irish rock star Bono; and others affected by and working to fight HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/5/03). Actress Ashley Judd -- who is the Youth AIDS global ambassador -- is scheduled to attend the opening of the film festival and various other activities throughout Thailand, including a visit to an AIDS hospice at Wat Phrabatrnumpu in Lop Buri, according to the Nation. Singer Dionne Warwick is scheduled to sing the last song at the closing ceremony of the conference on July 16 and perform at a 600-person VIP dinner concert on July 14 that is scheduled to include guests Oprah Winfrey and former South African President Nelson Mandela, according to the Nation. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales for the VIP event will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Nation reports (Nation, 6/27).
Webcasts and other coverage of the XV International AIDS Conference will be available online at kaisernetwork.org/aids2004. Kaisernetwork.org will serve as the conference's official webcaster.
Additional information on the conference, including online registration, is available at aids2004.org.