US: George W Bush and Hillary Clinton to attend HIV conference

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US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former president George W Bush are expected to attend an HIV conference in Washington this week.

The 19th International AIDS Conference will take place at the Washington Convention Center. This will be the first time the US hosts the event since 1990, due to a law restricting HIV-positive people entering the country. President Barack Obama repealed the law in 2009.

According to the Washington Blade, President Obama will not be attending the conference.

His spokesperson Shin Inouye said: “He will provide a brief video message to welcome Conference attendees from around the world to Washington.”

While some HIV campaigners expressed disappointment that the president will not attend, the White House said it would host a reception on the subject later in the month.

A White House statement said: “Under the president’s leadership, the administration has increased overall funding to combat HIV/AIDS to record levels.

“We have launched the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States to prevent and treat HIV in America.

“Globally, the Obama Administration has committed to treating six million people by the end of 2013 and is increasing the impact and sustainability of our investments.”