Author(s): Lucas S
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Abstract PIP: A summary of events at the Second International Conference for Non-Governmental Organizations working on AIDS, held in Paris November 1-4, 1990 is presented with comments on the effectiveness of arrangement, planning and sessions. The meeting was fraught with obstacles, the worst of which was a change of venue from San Francisco to Paris at the last minute, with serious consequences to speakers whose U.S. travel funds had to be found elsewhere. The goal of the conference was to facilitate international networking among AIDS Service, national and regional organizations. To this end 44 sessions were held informally. Plenary sessions were marked by moving presentations of such items as an international memorial quilt, and topics such as how children and women are affected by HIV, and how human rights abuses are often unseen. The need for solidarity among NGOs was stressed by Dr. J. Mann, who noted that NGOs perform up to half the health care in some countries. The major substance of the conference was 5 Seminar tracks of 5.5 hours duration on the topics of services and care, education and prevention, drugs and treatment, human rights, and organizational development. Human rights recognized internationally were described, but in some places lack of resources makes them a privilege. Illegal drug programs, decriminalization and research on cultural obstacles were within the broad range of issues addressed under services and care. While traditional symptomatic treatments and older drugs such as gentian violet as a treatment for candidiasis are being developed in African countries, serious social problems arise when people sell their possessions for a few doses of AZT or Kemron there. In the seminars on organizational development useful exchanges between major donors and project organizers explored professional methods of applying for grants, as well as accounting for funds spent later. ICASO the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations was ratified and a meeting in Florence in June 1991 was authorized, with reservations of those who felt that regional cooperation is needed even more. Problems and incidents marked other aspects of the meeting, from lack of translators, photocopiers, accommodations, refreshments, and late starting to an ill-timed demonstration during the last Plenary session address of Dr. Mann by ACT-UP France. Larger problems of balance of interests and priorities, and whether there are too many AIDS conferences must also be approached.
This article was published in AIDS Care
and referenced in Journal of Tourism & Hospitality