October 29, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Trent Stockton
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
[The conference itself is not open to the press. John Bartlett, M.D., and other Hopkins experts on HIV/AIDS will be available for comment after the conference. For more information about the conference or to speak with Dr. Bartlett, call Trent Stockton at 410-955-8665, or Gary Stephenson at 410-955-5384.]
As United Nations members struggle to address the global AIDS pandemic, the Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research is hosting a two-day conference for the world's public health and HIV experts to develop the blueprint for controlling AIDS and other epidemic infectious diseases. Attendees at the Hopkins conference, Oct. 30-31, are expected to determine the most feasible and cost-effective strategies for using the $1.5 billion Global AIDS and Health Fund in the developing world.
"One and a half billion dollars may sound like a lot, but it's only one-tenth the estimated need. The Fund must be used effectively if there is an expectation for an increase in the commitment," says John G. Bartlett, M.D., director of the Center for AIDS research and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Hopkins. Hopkins has the world's largest HIV and AIDS research enterprise, with over $80 million per year in grants and 11 large HIV programs in the developing world.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an initiative of United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan, is expected to be in operation by the end of this year. To date, the fund comprises commitments from governments, foundations and individuals, according to the U.N.
A main objective of the two-day conference is to provide an evidence-based briefing document on methods "to decrease the epidemic in developing countries using available, feasible and cost-effective technologies," said Dr. Chrispis Kiyonga, National Political Commisar of Uganda and chair of the transitional working group for establishing the fund, in a written brief to conference organizers.
"The emphasis will be on methods to better control the epidemic and the quality and relevance of the science that supports these methods," said Bartlett.
The conference will focus on five broad themes of prevention and treatment
of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, including therapeutic and preventive
vaccines; behavioral interventions, voluntary testing, and counseling; provision
of anti-retroviral therapy; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; and
prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections, including tuberculosis,
and palliative care. The impact of interventions on the future course of the
global AIDS epidemic and economic considerations will also be a topic of discussion.
Sponsors of the conference include the Center for AIDS Research, JHPIEGO, the Center for Communication Programs, and the Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program of Johns Hopkins University, the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR), and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
Related Web Sites:
Johns Hopkins AIDS Service: http://www.hopkins-aids.edu
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS: http://www.unaids.org/
AIDS-HIV Resource Center: http://www.healingwell.com/AIDS/