Bali To Host Next International Congress on HIV/AIDS in Asia, Pacific in August 2009
The Indonesian island of Bali will host the Ninth International Congress of AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in August 2009, Xinhuanet reports. Supported by the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific, the theme of the conference will be "Empowering the People, Reinforcing Networks." About 500 delegates from 50 countries are expected to attend the conference, Zubairi Djoerban, chair of the meeting's organizing committee, said.
According to Djoerban, the theme reflects the need for cooperation among networks that have worked to eradicate HIV/AIDS in the region for the past 20 years. Djoerban said, "We hope participants from Asia and the Pacific will share experience, particularly those who are policymakers" (Xinhuanet, 6/14). ASAP President Myung-Hawan Cho said the ICAAP conference will promote new ways of curbing the disease in Asia and Pacific countries, adding, "We are seeking support for finding ways of empowering people of Pacific Island countries and creating a much stronger bridge between Asia and the Pacific" (Jakarta Post, 6/14).
The number of HIV cases in Indonesia has been increasing, and an estimated 400,000 people will be living with the virus by 2010, according to Xinhuanet. In addition, 100,000 people in the country are expected to have died from AIDS-related causes by 2010. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie said, "Without adequate intervention, the virus will by 2015 have infected one million people, killed 350,000 and infected 38,500 children" (Xinhuanet, 6/14).