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Archbishop Desmond Tutu Chairs Historic AIDS Conference

July 2, 1997

Chicago, IL -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairperson of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Cape Town, South Africa, has been named honorary chair of the 1st International Conference on Healthcare Resource Allocation for HIV/AIDS and other Life-Threatening Illnesses. The two-day conference will be held on November 10th & 11th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC.

A faculty of 43 physicians, scientists, government officials, religious leaders, AIDS advocates, and ethicists from around the world will attempt to define the obligations of government, pharmaceutical companies, other organizations and individuals to provide life-saving drugs to the poor who will die without these drugs.

Although the conference focus is not limited to AIDS drugs, one of the major challenges posed to the faculty is how people can justify a system in which all of the AIDS drugs produced only go to 5 percent of the world's population with HIV/AIDS.

Several novel proposals to radically change current drug allocation programs will be presented including a program that will provide free AIDS drugs for all US children whose families cannot afford them. Other proposals call for a restructuring of Medicaid to cover people with HIV/AIDS, establishment of a global fund to provide drugs for developing countries and an innovative vaccine trial with AIDS physicians and researchers as volunteers.

The conference is being organized by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) and is cosponsored by the Harvard AIDS Insitutute and AIDS Action Council. Among the conference faculty are Sally Richardson, Deputy Administrator of the US Health Care Financing Administration; Richard F. Corlin, MD, FACP, Speaker of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association; Marian Gray Secundy, PhD, Professor and Director, Program in Clinical Ethics, Howard University College of Medicine; Warren Lindner, Executive Secretary, 12th World AIDS Conference; and Joseph Saba, MD, Clinical Research Specialist, UNAIDS.

Archbishop Tutu, who agreed to serve as honorary chairman for this historic conference because it would address the most complex moral challenges of our time, praised IAPAC "for having the courage to convene a conference to reestablish the sanctity of human life as the basis for improving global access to live-saving and life-extending drugs."

The complete details of the conference, specific topics, faculty and registration information can be accessed on the IAPAC web site at

International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC)
225 W Washington St Ste 2200
Chicago, IL 60606-3418
Phone: 312-419-7295
Fax: 312-419-7160
Web site:

"To let oneself be bound by a duty from the moment you see it approaching is part of the integrity that alone justifies responsibility." - Dag Hammarksjold

Contact: José Zuñiga
Director of Communications
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1300, extension 3042
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

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This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.