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Conference to Explore Inextricable Connection Between Health, Law and Human Rights

September 24, 2001

Jonathan Mann, M.D., M.P.H.
Jonathan Mann, M.D., M.P.H.
New York -- The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) will sponsor a three-day international cross-disciplinary conference entitled "Health, Law and Human Rights: Exploring the Connections" from September 29 to October 1, 2001, in Philadelphia. The conference will honor the late Jonathan M. Mann, M.D., M.P.H., a former amfAR Board member who led the World Health Organization's (WHO) AIDS prevention work early in the epidemic and who pioneered the emphasis on human rights in disease control.

Co-sponsored by UNAIDS and WHO, this action-oriented conference will use plenary sessions, case studies, and small, interactive workshops to examine key empirical questions about the health and human rights movement and its conceptual foundations. Conference participants from around the world will discuss the use of law and human rights to improve public health; bioethics and human rights; and the public health impact of economic development.

"For amfAR, the protection of the rights of those living with HIV, and of the many at risk of acquiring HIV, has always been inseparable from the Foundation's task of promoting and supporting biomedical research on HIV/AIDS," said Dr. Mathilde Krim, Founding Chairman and Chairman of the Board of amfAR. "Our esteemed former colleague Dr. Jonathan Mann played a significant role in shaping amfAR's programs, and his approach to public health and human rights continues to guide our activities to this day. In light of the recent tragedies, this conference is a testament to the power of Dr. Mann's diligent efforts and to the inextricable link between health and human rights."

"We know there is inequality in public health, skewed by wealth, social status, race, and gender," said Temple University Law Professor Scott Burris, Co-Chair of the conference. "But we really don't know how that happens. This is the first time we're zeroing in on how law influences health in real life. What is it about living at the low end of society's totem pole that is bad for one's health? And how can the law change and influence those factors? In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the U.S., the work of this conference will help point to useful humanitarian strategies for making the world a safer, healthier place for everyone."

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The conference will feature international experts from medicine, human rights, public health, and law, including Sevgi Aral (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Ronald Bayer (Columbia University School of Public Health), Marian Danis (National Institutes of Health), Mandeep Dhaliwal (International HIV/AIDS Alliance), Paul Farmer (Harvard Medical School), Geeta Rao Gupta (International Center for Research on Women), Mark Heywood (AIDS Law Project), Ichiro Kawachi (Harvard School of Public Health), the Honorable Michael Kirby (Justice of the High Court of Australia), Barbara Krimgold (Center for the Advancement of Health), Stephen Marks (François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights), Leonard Rubenstein (Physicians for Human Rights), and Daniel Tarantola (WHO).

Hosted by the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, the conference is presented in association with the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health, and co-sponsored by leading health and legal organizations including the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center, and Georgetown University Law Center.

"Health, Law and Human Rights: Exploring the Connections" will be held at the Sheraton Society Hotel at One Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits will be offered. For more information, or to register, call 617.262.4990, e-mail conferences@aslme.org or visit www.aslme.org/humanrights2001.html.

For more information, press registration, or to arrange advance interviews with conference organizers or presenters, contact Naomi Starkman, amfAR's Director of Communications, at 212.806.1602 (phone), 917.847.0181 (mobile), or naomi.starkman@amfar.org (e-mail).




  
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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.
 

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