[DEBATE] : Conference on Technologies to Protect Women from HIV Opens This Month in Cape Town
clsmith at global.co.za
Tue Apr 11 06:27:12 BST 2006
You are cordially invited to attend the upcoming international Microbicides 2006 conference in Cape Town - the first-ever conference in Africa on promising new technologies to protect women from HIV. The conference opens on Sunday, 23 April, and will include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mrs. Graca Machel, Justice Edwin Cameron, South African Minister of Health Dr. Mantio Tshabalala-Msimang and South African Minister of Science and Technology Mosibudu Mangena.
In addition to various presentations on the five large-scale microbicide clinical trials underway in Africa, as well as second-generation products based on antiretrovirals, the four-day conference will include broader discussions on the feminization of the HIV pandemic in Africa. Other opportunities for media include a visit to a clinical trial site outside Cape Town on the morning of Saturday, 22 April, and an informal dinner on second-generation microbicides with Dr. Zeda Rosenberg and Dr. Mark Mitchnick of the International Partnership for Microbicides scheduled for Monday, 24 April. Please contact jbaum at ghstrat.com if you would like more information about either event. A full program for the conference is online at http://microbicides2006.org/home.html.
If you are unable to attend the conference, regular updates will be available online at http://microbicides2006.org/home.html and at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/. In addition, the Microbicides 2006 media team would be pleased to arrange telephone interviews or distribute press releases and other media materials if you are interested. Please contact Jonathan Baum at jbaum at ghstrat.com or Muriel Hau-Yoon at hauyoon at afrikom.co.za.
MEDIA ADVISORY - CONTACT: Jonathan Baum, +1-646-284-1485, jbaum at ghstrat.com
CAPE TOWN TO HOST FIRST-EVER MICROBICIDES CONFERENCE IN AFRICA
Conference will be held from 23-26 April, 2006;
Anti-HIV gels could be available in 5-7 years to save millions of lives
Cape Town, South Africa (11 April, 2006) - More than 1,000 Researchers, advocates, public health workers, and community leaders from around the world are scheduled to gather at Microbicides 2006 from 23-26 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. This is the first time the conference, held every two years since 2000, will be hosted in Africa, the continent that stands to benefit most from an anti-HIV microbicide.
Microbicides are products that could be applied topically to the vagina to reduce the transmission of HIV during sexual intercourse. Microbicides could take the form of a gel, cream, sponge or vaginal ring that releases the active ingredient gradually. Five candidate microbicides are currently large-scale efficacy studies. If these any of these trials prove that a microbicide is safe and effective, a microbicide could be available in 5-7 years.
Microbicides are crucial to slow the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially in Africa, where women now account for more than 60 percent of adults (aged 15-49) living with HIV/AIDS. For young women, the figures are even worse: Worldwide, 75 percent of young people infected with HIV are women and girls. The ABC approach (Abstinence, Being faithful and using Condoms), up to now the most prominent prevention strategy, has proven insufficient for protecting many people, especially women, who often lack the power to insist upon abstinence or condoms.
This year's conference is expected to be the largest ever. A number of prominent African leaders are scheduled to participate, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mrs. Graca Machel, Justice Edwin Cameron, South African Minister of Health Dr. Mantio Tshabalala-Msimang and South African Minister of Science and Technology Mosibudu Mangena.
IF YOU ARE A JOURNALIST INTERESTED IN REGISTERING FOR THE CONFERENCE, PLEASE CONTACT:
Muriel Hau-Yoon Muriel at +27 (021) 423 7263 or hauyoon at afrikom.co.za.
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