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Medical News & Perspectives
September 8, 2004

Asia's Growing HIV/AIDS Epidemics in Spotlight at International Conference

JAMA. 2004;292(10):1161-1162. doi:10.1001/jama.292.10.1161

Bangkok—As an estimated 17 000 scientists, public health experts, clinicians, and activists gathered here at the 15th International AIDS Conference, they were treated to a parade of elephants, majestic animals revered as a national symbol by the meeting's host country, Thailand.

The choice of Thailand as the latest venue of the biennial conference thrust Asia, the world's most populous region, into the spotlight regarding the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the global response to it. While the majority of the world's approximately 40 million HIV-infected individuals live in sub-Saharan Africa, the Asia-Pacific region now accounts for about 1 in 4 of new infections occurring across the globe each year.