Dr. Miriam Cameron
Dr. Namdul speaks at the event
On World AIDS Day each year, people all over the world come together to combat HIV and create positive changes for persons living with HIV/AIDS. An important goal is to develop a compassionate environment in which persons living with HIV/AIDS can say, in the words of the 2009 World AIDS Day slogan, “I am accepted!”
CHOICE-HIV/AIDS Initiative, a Tibetan NGO based in Dharamsala, works on HIV/AIDS issues involving the Tibetan community in India and Nepal. Dr. Tenzin Namdul, Executive Director of CHOICE, was one of two invited speakers for the University of Minnesota World AIDS Day Program on November 30, 2009.
Dr. Tenzin Namdul gave an overview of the work that CHOICE is doing to prevent HIV infection and care for Tibetans who already are infected by the virus. He discussed the growing threat of HIV/AIDS in the Tibetan community. Describing Tibetans’ vulnerability, he called on the University’s AIDS Research Center and other HIV/AIDS organizations represented at the event to join hands with CHOICE to confront issues involving HIV/AIDS in the Tibetan community.
Mr. Duane Rohovit, from the University’s Office of International Programs, thanked CHOICE and Dr. Namdul for a powerful presentation. Mr. Rohovit said, “All of us are impressed with the work that you and your colleagues are doing. It is inspiring that so much can be accomplished in so little time with so little money!”
The other speaker was Shelley Jacobson, Director of Peace House Africa, an organization that works with orphans and other vulnerable children in Tanzania. She described how her organization developed an income generating project and a school for these children.
After the two presentations, the audience watched a video about the University’s HIV clinical trials, anti-HIV drug study, online HIV risk reduction interventions, HIV/ADIS care and support treatment, and a study of a new approach to an HIV/AIDS vaccine.
The other organizations that participated in the program were the Minnesota AIDS Project, Open Arms Minnesota, FACE AIDS, Peace Corps, Judd Fellows, University of Minnesota AIDS Research, and American Refugee Committee.