International Conference for People Living With HIV/AIDS Begins in Trinidad and Tobago; AIDS Vaccine Among Agenda Items
The 10th Annual International Conference for People Living with HIV/AIDS, organized by the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, began on Saturday in Trinidad and Tobago, with a focus on improving the lives of HIV-positive individuals worldwide, the AP/Baltimore Sun reports. The five-day conference has drawn 600 people with HIV/AIDS from around the world, and featured talks will address AIDS vaccines, access to medicine, patient rights, prevention and discrimination. The event is being held in the Caribbean in an effort to "reach out to the relatively large proportion" of HIV-positive people in the region, which has a 2% infection rate, the second highest regional prevalence of HIV after sub-Saharan Africa (AP/Baltimore Sun, 10/28). About 500,000 Caribbeans live with HIV/AIDS, and the virus has killed 8,000 in the region, according to the Caribbean Task Force on HIV/AIDS. In Trinidad and Tobago, approximately 17,000 people are HIV-positive. The Medical Research Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago is currently conducting a clinical trial on an experimental AIDS vaccine that combines Aventis Pasteur's ALVAC and VaxGen's AIDSVAX. Both manufacturers and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are sponsoring the studies, which began in Trinidad in June (AP/Dallas Morning News, 10/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.