Inside the 2012 Impact Awards

During last week’s International AIDS Conference, PSI held its 2012 Impact Awards. HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Actress/PSI Ambassador Debra Messing co-hosted the event at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The focus of the event was to honor individuals who have made a lasting impact on the fight against AIDS.

The event also marked the recent release of our latest issue of Impact Magazine.  This quarter the focus is squarely upon HIV/AIDS by discussing the combined approach to HIV and AIDS. The issue presents interviews with leading HIV thought leaders and implementers, as well as personal stories from men and women living with HIV. Interviews include Impact Award winner Ron Zwanziger, Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA), Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), Dr. Daniel Halperin and Craig Timberg, authors of the new book “Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It,” and PSI technical experts.

“Turning the tide is only possible if we devote our minds, resources and support—collectively—to the global AIDS response,” said Messing. “This year’s Impact Awards celebrate a distinguished group of men and women who have helped make progress possible.”

A bit more about the winners:

Dr. Bertran Auvert – pioneer in research on voluntary medical male circumcision, which has been shown to reduce female-to-male HIV transmission by as much as 60%.

Ron Zwanziger – CEO of Alere, the world’s largest manufacturer of HIV testing technology and purveyor of the Make Positive More Positive Campaign to reduce stigma and discrimination.

John Donnelly – journalist and editor who has spent 15 years reporting on global health and HIV/AIDS for the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, the Associated Press, and the GlobalPost.

Blessing Chebundo – first of 60 Zimbabwe parliamentarians who undertook voluntary male circumcision this year, signaling its role in the prevention of HIV transmission.

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) – career-long advocate for HIV work, first beginning as a physician in the Congo during the peak of the epidemic; recent co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus.

Senator John Boozman (R-AR) – strong supporter and leader for U.S. global health and development investments; first senator to join the now bicameral and bipartisan Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – Member of the House of Representatives who has served the state of California for 25 years and is now the House Democratic Leader. From her first day on Capitol Hill she has been a steadfast leader in Congress for HIV/AIDS work domestically and abroad.

Congratulations to all the winners!