'Time to Deliver' Is Message of International AIDS Conference


This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

The sixteenth international AIDS conference will be held in Toronto, Canada, from August thirteenth to the eighteenth. Organizers say the meeting will be the world's largest since the first international conference took place in nineteen eighty-five.

Twenty-four thousand delegates from one hundred thirty-two countries are expected to attend the conference. The delegates include scientists, health care providers, activists, and political and business leaders. They also include people living with AIDS and H.I.V., the virus that causes the disease.

The main organizing group is the International AIDS Society. It says the conference will be a place to exchange ideas, information and research about H.I.V and AIDS. The aim is to increase knowledge about treatments and prevention around the world. Conference officials say the delegates will examine the progress that has been made against AIDS and decide on steps for the future.

The major message of the conference this year is "Time To Deliver." This means that it is time to bring effective treatments to people in all parts of the world. Some developing countries cannot pay for the needed drugs and prevention programs. Conference organizers say they want to make it possible for everyone around the world to know about the disease and be able to prevent and treat it.

More than four thousand scientific papers will be presented at the international AIDS conference. The main issues to be discussed are:

-- Increasing research to end the spread of AIDS.

-- Expanding services to improve prevention and treatment.

-- Increasing the involvement of affected groups.

-- Building new leadership to work toward stopping the disease.

-- And learning from past experience around the world.

Officials expect the new conference Web site to expand the meeting's influence. They say the Web site will make it easy for people unable to attend the meeting to receive the information presented there. The conference Web site address is www.aids2006.org.

Twenty-five years ago, the United States Centers for Disease Control first reported about a new sickness that later came to be known as AIDS. A United Nations report released in June said sixty-five million people have become infected with H.I.V. since then. Twenty-five million of them have died of sicknesses linked to AIDS. These numbers include four million new infections last year and almost three million deaths. Around the world, about thirty-eight million people are now living with H.I.V.

Ten years ago, an effective treatment for AIDS was announced at the international AIDS conference in Vancouver, Canada. But there is still no vaccine or cure for the disease.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Nancy Steinbach. You can read transcripts of our shows and listen online at WWW.51VOA.COM. I'm Steve Ember.