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Obama urged to speak at upcoming international AIDS conference in DC

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Would seem a no-brainer. From Chris Johnson at the Blade:
Tom Myers, chief of public affairs and general counsel for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, was particularly critical of Obama for not yet confirming that he’ll make an appearance at the upcoming 19th International AIDS Conference, which will will take place at D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center during the week of July 22.

“We are here to express our concern and dismay that, less than two weeks from the start of the conference, President Obama has yet to commit to attending it,” Myers said. “In the 20-odd year history of this conference, it is virtually obligatory for the head of state of the host nation to address the conference at its opening.”

It’s the first time since 1990 that the conference will take place in the United States. Organizers agreed to hold the conference in D.C. after the lifting of the HIV travel ban in 2009, which had prevented HIV-positive foreign nationals from entering the United States. The process for removing the ban started under the Bush administration through legislative action and ended under the Obama administration.

As of Monday, the conference hadn’t yet announced whether it had received confirmation that Obama would speak. Shin Inouye, a White House spokesperson, said he had no updates on whether Obama will attend the conference.

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