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amfAR Sounds Alarm on HIV in South/Southeast Asia
Standing on the Precipice Symposium at United Nations in Observance of World AIDS Day 2000

November 30, 2000

New York, November 30, 2000 -- The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) today presented international experts to "sound the alarm" on a potentially devastating new front in the HIV/AIDS pandemic -- South and Southeast Asia.

At a United Nations World AIDS Day symposium on HIV/AIDS, experts from China, India and Thailand highlighted the contrasting ways their nations are dealing with the spreading pandemic.

"Much of the international HIV/AIDS focus has been on Africa," said Dr. Mathilde Krim, Founding Co-Chair and Chairman of the Board of amfAR. "But with 60 percent of the world's population, an exploding infection rate, and insufficient prevention efforts, South and Southeast Asia have become the flashpoint for AIDS in the next decade."

Highlights of the HIV/AIDS situation in the three countries:

"As the title of our symposium suggests, we are truly 'standing on the precipice' when we look at HIV/AIDS in South and Southeast Asia," said amfAR's Dr. Krim. "The grim lessons of HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere can be used to thwart another catastrophic explosion of HIV infection and AIDS. Or those lessons can be ignored. The lives of many millions of people hang in the balance."

Symposium participants include:

The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, AIDS prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $175 million in support for its programs and awarded grants to more than 1,850 research teams worldwide.

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has played an important role in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and spurring collective action. While research and prevention efforts have achieved notable progress, more than 34 million people are now living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and more than 15,000 become newly infected each day.

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