Experts on global HIV/AIDS to gather in Indy Oct. 31

09/29/04

In 2003, more than 3 million people worldwide died from AIDS and nearly twice that number acquired the human immunodeficiency virus. Behind those grim statistics is what must be done to curb the staggering epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the developing world.

That will be the focus of much of the discussion at the HIV/AIDS Care in the Developing World: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward conference, Sunday, Oct. 31. The conference, organized by the Indiana University School of Medicine, will convene some of the world's chief experts on the medical, ethical, political and economic issues related to HIV/AIDS.

Among the speakers will be Ambassador Randall Tobias, U.S. Global HIV/AIDS coordinator; James Morris, executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme; and Debrework Zewdie, Ph.D., director of the Global HIV/AIDS Program, The World Bank.

Other leaders participating in the conference:

  • Terje Andersen, executive director of the National Association of People with AIDS
  • Greg Behrman, author of The Invisible People
  • Jack Chow, M.D., assistant director-general of HIV/AIDS-TB-Malaria at the World Health Organization
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health
  • Kenneth Fife, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, IU School of Medicine
  • Helene Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., director of HIV, TB and Reproductive Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Joseph Mamlin, M.D., co-founder of the Indiana University-Moi University Partnership Program in Kenya
  • Allan Ronald, M.D., research director for HIV/AIDS at Makerere University, Uganda; Academic Alliance For AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa; University of Manitoba, Canada

Tobias and some of these panelists participated in the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, last summer.

"The program brings together policy makers and program directors who will share their experiences and insights with others in the concerned community," says IU School of Medicine Dean D. Craig Brater, M.D., who originated the symposium. "Our goal is to determine how to build and expand on the isolated successes we now have to reach the millions more who have no resources to survive these illnesses."

Eric Meslin, Ph.D., director of the IU Center for Bioethics, will moderate the panel discussion following individual presentations.

Many point to the IU-Moi Program for HIV/AIDS (AMPATH) as a stellar model in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Last March, the partnership received $15 million from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which will allow IU and Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences physicians to boost the number of HIV patients they treat from 2,000 to 30,000. To do this, they are building treatment and prevention programs in six rural Kenyan communities.

Earlier in the year, the IU-Kenya program received U.S. government funding of $1.6 million and an additional $500,000 to acquire drugs to treat AIDS patients.

The Indianapolis conference will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel, 350 W. Maryland Street.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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