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International AIDS Economics/Ethics Conference
IAPAC announces conference to explore economics, ethics, human rights and arrive at new directions in addressing global crisis in access to healthcare

International conference set for November 15-18, 1998 in Mexico

CHICAGO -- With the advent of more effective antiviral drugs, and the promise these drugs pose to those few people with HIV/AIDS who can obtain them, there is a pressing need to re-examine healthcare delivery systems worldwide so that HIV disease and death do not continue to be as synonymous as they now are for so many people. The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) today announced plans for its Second International Conference on Healthcare Resource Allocation for HIV/AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses, which aims to examine the economic, ethical, and human rights issues that underlie healthcare resource allocation. The conference, chaired by The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu and prominent Mexican pediatrician Patricia Uribe Zuniga, is scheduled for November 15-18, 1998, in Cancún, Mexico.

"The world of darkness is a world in which decisions about the future of tens of millions of people are often made in the darkness of political and economic expedience," said Tutu, speaking to the conference theme, In a World of Darkness, Nourishing the Light. "The light which will be nourished at this important conference is the incandescent spark of the divine dignity of human life."

Among the questions this year's conference will address are:

Among the featured presenters/panelists are Awa Coll-Seck, Director of Policy, Strategy & Research at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; South Africa's Hoosen Coovadia, Chairperson of the 12th International Conference on AIDS 2000; Uribe Zuniga, Coordinator of Mexico's Consejo Nacional para la Prevencion y Control del SIDA; Debrework Zewdie, Lead Specialist Population at the World Bank; Stephen Corber, Director of Disease Prevention and Control at the Pan American Health Organization; Richard Marlink, Executive Director of the Harvard AIDS Institute; and Lawrence Gostin, Co-Director of the Georgetown-Johns Hopkins Program on Law & Public Health.

"In one way or another, the great majority of humanity both lives with HIV disease and the parallel epidemics of poverty and social exclusion," said Jose Zuniga, IAPAC's Deputy Director and the Conference Secretary. "This conference is an attempt to define the global crisis in healthcare and offer potential solutions to reduce the unnecessary suffering and death to which so many are condemned."

For more information about the conference, including a full listing of scheduled presentations and panel discussions, faculty members, and registration and hotel reservation information, please access the IAPAC Web site at The site will be updated regularly. A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) review of last year's conference is also available on the IAPAC Web site.

The Second International Conference on Healthcare Resource Allocation for HIV/AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses is sponsored by IAPAC, in association with Mexico's Consejo Nacional para la Prevencion y Control del SIDA, Harvard AIDS Institute, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, and the World Bank.

Funding for the conference (in the form of unrestricted educational grants) is provided by Major Funders Abbott Laboratories and Bristol-Myers Squibb; Contributing Funders Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Glaxo Wellcome, and Hoffmann-La Roche; Funder DuPont Merck; and Contributor Ortho Biotech.

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Founded in 1995, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) is devoted to crafting and implementing global strategies to better the quality of life of all people affected by HIV and AIDS. IAPAC represents 5,500 physicians and healthcare professionals in 42 countries.

For more information, call (312) 419-7078.

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