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Photo Essay: Fostering Social Change Through Public Conversation: aids2031 by Denise Gray-Felder

Photos Courtesy of Mr. Kike Arnal, San Francisco

For more than 25 years, the response to AIDS has taken primarily short-term, crisis views of the challenges the pandemic presents. Despite tremendous progress, much work is needed now to prepare for future management of AIDS as a disease of communities not just of individuals. The implications for future leadership, communication, financing and programming are immense, as some current approaches may become irrelevant in the future.

aids2031 seeks to shift the focus from a crisis response to long-term planning. Toward that end, we need key constituents all over the world—especially young people—to help catalyse new thinking, research, leadership and innovation. To better understand what the issues are, and how people want to manage AIDS as a long-term response, the aids2031 communication working group will host a series of community conversations across the globe and online. Heidi Larson, CFSC Consortium board member, is the aids2031 coordinator.

Several efforts are under way to hear new perspectives and voices. Some are initiated by the CFSC Consortium, as our organisation is convening the communication working group of aids2031. Among them was a recent public conversation held in San Francisco (United States) as a precursor to the aids2031 Young Leaders Summit held at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California (just outside of San Francisco). The HIV virus was first identified in 1981 in San Francisco in response to demands to find the cause of hundreds of unexplained deaths among area residents.

More than 170 local and global scientific, community, political and advocacy leaders attended the San Francisco aids2031 public conversation, among them Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway, Jenna Bush, the first daughter of Honduras, and numerous business, civic, indigenous and community leaders from Latin America, Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Caribbean.

This aids2031 event was co-sponsored by Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, with support from AmFAR. Many of the AIDS pioneers and leaders attending appear in the photos that follow.

To share your ideas about AIDS and the future, please write us at: or visit the aids2031 Web site: Share your opinions via the questionnaire.

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