Here are some excerpts from our guest blogger Pete Witzler, from Physicians for Human Rights — a round-up of interesting things happening at the conference:

In Plenary Session, Colleague of Iranian Docs Calls for their Release

The most moving aspect of AIDS 2008 so far for me has been meeting so many of Kamiar and Arash Alaei’s friends and colleagues—all of whom have stories and kind words about the two physicians detained in Iran and are hoping to see the brothers again soon. Today, one of their colleagues, Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, gave an important plenary speech about her work on harm reduction—and in front of thousands of conference participants, made an impassioned plea to the Iranian Government to free Arash and Kamiar.

The Powerful Voice of Health Professional Students

I am excited to announce that videos made for World AIDS Day 2007 by students in the US, Kenya and Uganda will be featured at the conference this week. This was one of the advocacy initiatives that PHR’s Student Program has collaborated on with our partner organizations in East Africa. American and East African students created video postcards that were delivered to the US Congress and called on them to make the right to health a reality.

A Grassroots View of Mexico City

I walked into the activist meeting space yesterday morning and a wave of excitement washed over me. We are right behind the dance 4 life exhibition in the global village and they are jamming to some afro-caribbean beats that got me boppin’ as I walked by. When I entered, the room was absolutely buzzing with activity. Groups of people huddled together over blackberries and computers. The copier was humming and rhythmically churning out materials for press conferences. Another group busily making fliers and materials for today’s human rights march.

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