Obama Will Not Be Speaking At International AIDS Conference

The White House announced today that President Obama would only be presenting a video message to the International AIDS Conference. Advocates had been pressing for an in-person visit from Obama. posted on

JASON REED / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at an election campaign rally in Cincinnati July 16, 2012.

President Obama will be not be attending the 19th International AIDS Conference taking place July 22-27 in Washington, D.C., a White House spokesman tells BuzzFeed, delivering an address via video instead.

“The President will not be speaking at the Conference. He will provide a brief video message to welcome Conference attendees from around the world to Washington,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye wrote to BuzzFeed.

The White House today announced that the officials who would be participating include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby; Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy Grant Colfax; and Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH.

According to the White House:

Continuing his personal engagement on this issue, the President will provide a brief video message to welcome Conference attendees from around the world to Washington. The video will be played at the Conference venue and will be made available in coming days at www.whitehouse.gov. In addition, the White House will also host a reception on July 26th to honor those people living with HIV and to thank men and women who have been fighting with dignity on the frontlines against this disease. Further details about that event will be provided at a later date.

This past week, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation held a news conference seeking Obama’s attendance at the conference and asking for more action from the administration on HIV/AIDS issues.

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