When footballing nation hosts HIV/AIDS experts

By Henry Neondo

Rio de Janeiro is perhaps best known for its footballing giants, in forms of world class football clubs that annually churns out world class beating footballers.

But from the July 24-27, 2005, the capital city of the country best known for its prolific and imaginative footballers will be hosting leading scientists, public health experts and clinicians few that know nothing about football, for a 3rd IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment aimed to examine the latest scientific developments related to HIV, and to explore how such advances can inform the global response to the epidemic.

Organised by the International AIDS Society (IAS) in partnership with the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Sociedade Brasileira de Infectologia (SBI),the conference comes against the background of the urgency regarding the need to accelerate research and expand global access to HIV treatment and prevention.

An estimated 5,000 AIDS experts are expected to gather. According to organizers, prominent political and cultural figures, whose remarks will underscore the importance of continued international commitment to HIV research, and to the goal of universal access to HIV prevention and treatment will participate.

Confirmed speakers at the Opening Ceremony include His Excellency Mr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana and Mr. Stephen Lewis, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa.

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