Ramadoss leaves for Mexico to participate in AIDS conference

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New Delhi, Aug 6 (UNI) Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today left for Mexico city to attend the XVII International AIDS Conference being held there from August 3 to 8.

The Minister leads a high level delegation which include MPs Milind Deora, Dr Raman Senthil, MP and Additional Secretary and Director General of the National AIDS Control Organisation K Sujatha Rao.

Besides attending the AIDS conference the Minister will hold a series of discussions with the Health Minister and senior officers of the Health Ministry, Government of Mexico, for strengthening bilateral cooperation in the health sector during the visit.

On his return from Mexico the minister will visit New York from August 8 to 9 where he is expected to visit North Shore University Hospital and hold discussions with medical and Health Experts of the University.

The-HIV/AIDS is the focus of world attention for scientists, policymakers, activists and patients at the International AIDS conference meet which is being held in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), releases its 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic.

The world's largest AIDS meeting, held every two years, opened on August 3 with addresses by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan. AIDS 2008 was convened by the International AIDS Society.

Participating in the meeting, whose theme is Universal Action Now, are more than 25,000 scientists, advocates and community and political leaders. The theme emphasises the need for continued urgency and action on the part of all involved in the worldwide response to HIV/AIDS.

According to the 2008 UNAIDS report, HIV infections declined from 3 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2007. But rates of new HIV infections are rising in China, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Vietnam, and HIV incidence is increasing in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The global epidemic has leveled off in terms of the percentage of people infected (prevalence) but the number of people living with HIV has increased to 33 million globally with nearly 7,500 new infections each day. Three million people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment in low and middle income countries.

The report shows the combined will and efforts of governments, donors, civil society and affected communities can have an effect. Some 105 countries have set goals and targets to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

UNI AJ SP VC1645

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