amfAR National HIV/AIDS Update Conference Focuses Attention on Epidemic Among Minorities, Women
April 13, 2005
The American Foundation for AIDS Research in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday began its four-day, 17th annual National HIV/AIDS Update Conference, which aims to focus attention on the epidemic among African Americans, Latinos, and women and girls, populations that comprise the "new face of HIV/AIDS," the Pleasanton Tri-Valley Herald reports. In the keynote address to about 2,000 HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates at the conference, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) emphasized the need to examine "underlying factors," such as poverty, that might cause some communities to be "more vulnerable" to HIV/AIDS, according to the Herald (Vesely, Pleasanton Tri-Valley Herald, 4/12). "When we talk about AIDS prevention, we must also talk about the socio-economic environment in our country -- such as ending poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, stigma, discrimination, ignorance and inequality -- in the same breath," Lee said, adding, "The sooner that we help the public and policymakers understand that HIV/AIDS is thriving in underserved communities because [of] neglect, homophobia and racism, the sooner we can get government to fight on our side against these inequalities" (Lee release, 4/11). A mistrust of the health care system and unequal access to new antiretroviral drug treatments also are "major" problems in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in African-American communities, Dr. William King, director of the Clinical AIDS Research & Education Center at the University of California-Los Angeles, said at the conference (Pleasanton Tri-Valley Herald, 4/12).
The survey was conducted with support from the pharmaceutical companies Roche and Trimeris (amfAR release, 4/11). Trimeris and Roche jointly developed Fuzeon, an injectable antiretroviral that is in a class of drugs called fusion inhibitors and designed for HIV/AIDS patients who have failed to respond to other medications (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/14).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.