XV International AIDS Conference To Feature Expanded Program Focusing on Women, Children
The XV International AIDS Conference, which is scheduled for July 11-16 in Bangkok, Thailand, will feature an expanded program focusing on increasing access to HIV/AIDS prevention and care for women and young people, conference organizers announced on Tuesday, Thailand's Nation reports (Nation, 6/16). About half of the estimated 14,000 new HIV infections that occur each day are among people ages 15 to 24, and more than one-third of people living with AIDS throughout the world are younger than 25. In addition, women now account for half of the 40 million HIV cases worldwide, and young women ages 15 to 24 are 2.5 times more likely to be infected than young men. "Achieving access for all will require efforts to empower populations most at risk for HIV/AIDS, enabling them to advocate for and exercise their rights," International AIDS Society President and Conference Co-Chair Dr. Joep Lange said, adding that "women and young people are among the most susceptible to HIV." Conference organizers have planned sessions highlighting the need for prevention and treatment programs targeting women and children. A plenary session scheduled for July 14, titled "Ensuring Access for Youth and Women," will include discussions on education, prevention, rights and "on-the-ground examples" of successful programs, according to a conference release. In addition, a "Youth Question Leaders" forum scheduled for July 13 will allow up to 450 young people from around the world to examine problems facing Asian youth and question political, business, religious and media leaders about the epidemic (IAC release, 6/15). Schools and universities in Thailand will be closed during the conference, and the Thai Ministry of Education plans to organize an HIV/AIDS education and prevention exhibition during the conference to help educate people about the spread of HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/12). As part of the parallel education activities, more than 2,500 young people are expected to take part in a five-day skills-building camp at Thammasat University's Rangsit Campus near the conference venue (IAC release, 6/15).
Webcasts and other coverage of the XV International AIDS Conference will be available online at kaisernetwork.org/aids2004. Kaisernetwork.org will serve as the conference's official webcaster.
Additional information on the conference, including online registration, is available at aids2004.org.