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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/20/2012

AIDS Conference draws celebrities to Washington


Bill Gates, Sharon Stone and Elton John are among the big names headed to Washington for the 19th International AIDS Conference. (Getty Images; Associated Press; Getty Images)

Expect some high-wattage celebvocacy next week in D.C. at the 19th International AIDS Conference: It’s the first time in two decades that the global gathering is being held in the United States, and A-listers are turning out in droves.

No surprise, really: The disease galvanized the Hollywood community a quarter-century ago, inspiring many stars to become more active in politics and charity, a trend that’s percolated to a variety of other issues today. The late Elizabeth Taylor was a pioneer, raising millions for HIV/AIDS (and willing a portion of her $115 million jewelry collection to the cause), and encouraging other celebs to lend their names.


Elizabeth Taylor at an amFar benefit partyin 2003. (Pascal Guyot/Getty Images)

So who’s coming to town? Sharon Stone is set to kick off the parties Friday with a benefit at the Georgetown Kiehl’s shop, then will join a crowded red carpet — Bill Gates, Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox, Anderson Cooper, Sean Penn, Herbie Hancock, Jessye Norman, Barbara Bush, John Corbett, Tyson Beckfor d — at the Kennedy Center for Saturday’s Foundation for AIDS Research dinner and a UNAIDS concert. Tavis Smiley, Wyclef Jean and Margaret Cho are slated for Sunday’s “Keep the Promise” march.

And that’s before all the speeches, panels and other forums during the six-day conference with the likes of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Laura Bush and Whoopi Goldberg. Danny Glover and Vanessa Williams will represent the Black AIDS Institute; Elton John is appearing with Nancy Pelosi at the Syringe Access Fund event, and Debra Messing teams up with Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit to honor leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Expect plenty of limo lock downtown— most of the action will be at the convention center, where more than 20,000 people from around the world are expected.

Related: International AIDS Conference will have a big footprint in host city D.C. next week, 7/18/12

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/20/2012

Categories:  Celebvocate

 
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