Facebook Twitter

AIDS conference aims to bridge gap between rich, poor nations

SHARE AIDS conference aims to bridge gap between rich, poor nations

Organizers of the 12th Annual World AIDS conference marked the official opening on Sunday with a call for greater emphasis on the use of resources already available in the fight against the deadly disease.

The organizers said at a news conference that the focus of this year's gathering would be bridging the gap between rich nations where advances have been made and the developing world where infection and death rates are increasing rapidly."The gap we are thinking about is the one between countries where effective treatments are available and those countries where effective treatments are not available," conference chairman Bernard Hirsch-el said.

Prevention programs and medical advances such as life-prolonging drug therapies have been avail-able in wealthy countries for years but have yet to find their way to the developing world where some 90 percent of those infected with AIDS and HIV live.

Last week the U.N. AIDS prevention agency UNAIDS released a report showing the disease was receding in the industrialised world but expanding at alarming rates in developing countries.

Conference organisers warned that medical advances and declining infection rates in some parts of the world could lead to complacency.

"One of the biggest gaps that has to be mentioned besides the gaps between north and south, between the poor and rich, between men and women, etc., . . . would be between what we know we can do today and what we are actually doing," said Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS.