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12th National HIV/AIDS Update Conference to Showcase Leading HIV Researchers and Educators

More than 1,800 Expected to Convene in San Francisco for Nation's Only Interdisciplinary HIV/AIDS Conference

March 3, 2000

San Francisco -- More than 1,800 researchers, policy makers, educators, and people living with HIV and AIDS will convene in San Francisco, March 15-17, for the 12th annual National HIV/AIDS Update Conference (NAUC). Presented annually in San Francisco, NAUC is the longest running HIV/AIDS conference in the U.S.

Organized for the second consecutive year by the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), NAUC is widely recognized as the premier opportunity for individuals on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic to obtain in-depth, up-to-date information on current HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care, and public policy issues.

"NAUC truly brings together the best of the best," said Mervyn Silverman, MD, MPH, Conference Director and Chair. "At no other national conference do participants have the opportunity to explore and debate the most salient issues of the day in areas ranging from prevention to treatment, policy to care. NAUC was launched and continues to be held annually in San Francisco precisely because this city is synonymous with the words 'leadership' and 'innovation' when it comes to HIV."

This year's Conference will feature AIDS experts such as:

  • "AIDS Czar" Sandra Thurman, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy;


  • Jay Levy, MD, a professor of medicine at UCSF and one of the first researchers to isolate HIV;

  • Paul Kawata, Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council, a leader in focusing attention on the disproportionate impact of HIV on communities of color;

  • Donna Futterman, MD, Director of the Adolescent AIDS Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, the nation's first comprehensive clinical program for HIV-positive adolescents.

U.S. Olympic gold medalist, author, and AIDS activist Greg Louganis will help kick-off the Conference at a Gala Reception at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 15, in the Green Room at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center.

Titled "HIV/AIDS at the Crossroads: Confronting Critical Issues," this year's Conference will feature more than 70 plenaries, workshops, and symposia exploring the complex issues confronting HIV/AIDS researchers, caregivers, policy makers, and educators at the start of the 21st century. Presenters will include physicians, community leaders, government officials, HIV/AIDS service providers, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Critical issues to be explored include "Promoting HIV Counseling and Testing to Adolescents," "HIV Prevention Strategies in the Black Community," "The Future of Prevention," "Weight Loss and Wasting: Clinical and Community-Based Approaches to Treatment," and "Addressing the Myths of Women and HIV Transmission."

NAUC will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Individual registration fees are between $185 and $325. Continuing Education credits are available. Register online at or by calling 514-874-1998.

amfAR is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, public and professional education, AIDS prevention, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $166 million in support for its programs, primarily through grants to more than 1,800 research teams.

12th National HIV/AIDS Update Conference Schedule

Held annually in San Francisco since 1986, the National HIV/AIDS Update Conference provides a unique opportunity for scientists, health care providers, educators, and people living with HIV/AIDS to discuss the latest developments in HIV/AIDS research, public policy, treatment, care and services, and prevention.

This year's Conference is divided into four tracks: Prevention, Public Policy, Research and Clinical Management, and Care and Services. Within the Care and Services track, plenaries and workshops will focus on adolescents and young people, women, communities of color, substance users, mental health, and seniors.

Additional information about the Conference program is currently available on amfAR's Conference website at

The 12th National HIV/AIDS Update Conference begins Wednesday, March 15, 9:00 am, and runs through Friday, March 17, 2:00 pm. The Conference is being held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Press can register by contacting Kar Yin Tham at Aplomb Consulting at 415-421-4558 or

For more information about any Conference plenaries or workshops, or to arrange advance interviews with Conference organizers or presenters, contact:

Kar Yin Tham
Aplomb Consulting

Wednesday, March 15
National HIV/AIDS Policy: What the New Millennium Holds What are the implications of the country's current national HIV/AIDS policies for people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS service providers, researchers, and educators? Will more emphasis be placed on finding an AIDS vaccine? What national policies need to be put in place to address the disproportionate rate of HIV/AIDS in the African American and Latino communities? These are just some of the questions that will be discussed and debated during:
  • 9:00 to 10:30 am -- Opening Plenary
    Mervyn Silverman, MD, MPH, Conference Director and Chair;
    Sandra Thurman, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy;
    Mary Fisher, Founder of the Family AIDS Network

  • 12:30 to 1:45 pm -- AIDS Policy at the Crossroads
    Jane Silver, amfAR Director of Public Policy;
    Sandra Thurman, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy;
    Patricia Fleming, Former Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy;
    Cornelius Baker, Executive Director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic
Adolescents and HIV: The Next Generation Ensuring that adolescents have access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS education, testing, and treatment programs has never been more critical. Only a few cities and states, however, have begun to implement the HIV prevention education and treatment programs that can effectively curb the epidemic among our country's youth.
  • 11:00 am to 12:30 pm -- Promoting HIV Testing to Adolescents
    Donna Futterman, MD, founded the nation's first comprehensive program for HIV-positive and at-risk adolescents in New York City. In addition, she recently launched the first-ever Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Health Resource Center.
Gala Reception
  • 6:00 to 8:00 pm -- Featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis
    To obtain an electronic photograph of Greg Louganis for print or website reproduction, contact
Thursday, March 16
Research Update: The State-of-the-State of HIV/AIDS Research Research into the basic science of how HIV attacks cells, treatment options, AIDS vaccines, and prevention programs continues to occur at record pace. This plenary will provide an opportunity for leading researchers to highlight significant developments and explore what's on the research horizon.
  • 9:00 to 10:30 am -- Current Science and Research
    This plenary features two of San Francisco's most internationally respected HIV/AIDS researchers, Jay Levy, MD, and Paul Volberding, MD. Levy, a professor of medicine at UCSF, has spent the past 16 years advancing our understanding of the biology, immunology, and molecular biology of HIV. A co-discoverer of HIV, Levy's current studies involve host immune responses to HIV and the development of an AIDS vaccine. Volberding, director of UCSF's Center for AIDS Research, currently focuses his research on clinical trials of antiretroviral drugs. He is co-editor of The Medical Management of AIDS, the most widely used textbook of HIV medicine. They will be joined by nationally recognized AIDS treatment activist Mark Harrington.
Prevention: Where the Epidemic is Going... And How to Stop It Communities of color throughout the nation have been disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Latinos comprise 12% of the U.S. population, while African-Americans comprise 13%. Yet they account for 20% and 36% of cumulative AIDS cases, respectively. Disparities in AIDS incidence and mortality in people of color are often due to late diagnosis of HIV infection, less access to experienced HIV/AIDS physicians, less access to HIV therapy that meets federal guidelines, and lack of health insurance. Targeted prevention strategies that address the needs and concerns of communities of color are critical to slowing the epidemic.
  • 1:45 to 3:15 pm -- Prevention Plenary
    Paul Kawata, Executive Director, National Minority AIDS Council;
    Mindy Fullilove, MD, Associate Professor, Columbia University;
    Barbara Aranda Narango, RN, PhD, Chief, Demonstration Project, HRSA;
    Terje Anderson, Interim Executive Director, National Association of People With AIDS

  • 3:45 to 5:15 pm -- HIV Prevention Strategies in the Black Community
    Erick Brown, Director of Prevention Services for the Black Coalition on AIDS, will discuss the primary and secondary culturally-specific programs currently being used in San Francisco to decrease rates of HIV transmission.
Friday, March 17
Women: The Hidden Epidemic Women are one of the fastest growing populations infected with HIV. In 1997, women comprised 22% of all AIDS cases in the United States -- a number that has steadily increased since the start of the epidemic. HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death among U.S. women aged 25-44 and the leading cause of death among African American women in that age range.
  • 12:45 to 2:00 pm -- Women: Prevention and Transmission
    The Conference's closing plenary brings together leaders in the field of women and HIV/AIDS research and treatment.
    Mary Lucey, a coordinator of HIV/AIDS care for the City of Los Angeles, will address prevalent myths about women and HIV transmission;
    Nancy Padian, MD, a physician in UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services, will explore the innovative research currently underway to develop topical microbicides (gels and creams that can be used by women to protect against HIV);
    Mary Latka, PhD, an epidemiologist at the New York Academy of Medicine, will describe current research into barrier methods for women that can reduce HIV transmission.

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This article was provided by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. Visit amfAR's website to find out more about their activities and publications.