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Busan to host international AIDS forum

4,000 experts from 70 countries to attend 10th Asia-Pacific AIDS Congress


A major international conference on AIDS kicks off its five-day run on Friday at BEXCO in the southern port city of Busan, the local organizing committee said Tuesday.

The 10th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP10) will provide a platform for policymakers, community advocates, researchers and activists to share the latest developments and information concerning HIV and AIDS.
Local organizers stage an awareness-raising street campaign ahead of the 10th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in Busan from Aug. 26-30. (ICAAP10)
Local organizers stage an awareness-raising street campaign ahead of the 10th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in Busan from Aug. 26-30. (ICAAP10)

Under the theme of “Different Voices, United Action,” the Busan edition of the biennial conference aims to promote regional collaboration by piecing together diverse perspectives and uniting them in joint action to fight the acquired immune deficiency syndrome widely seen as much more than a global health issue.

“AIDS is not a big issue in South Korea yet, but it’s an issue that has great social, political and health implications for many countries in the world,” said Cho Myung-hwan, a biotechnology professor of Konkuk University who heads the local organizing committee.

“Around 25 million people already died of AIDS, and some 33 million people are estimated to be living with HIV, so the conference in Busan this week will help Korean people and participants from other countries join forces together to deal with the issues related to AIDS,” he said.

ICAAP10 will be the largest AIDS conference to be held in South Korea. Some 4,000 people from 70 countries are scheduled to attend the forum co-hosted by South Korea, UNAIDS and the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific.

The Korea Herald will publish the official daily conference newspaper, “ICAAP10 Herald.”

“A great deal of political momentum has been built up in the past year and the 10th ICAAP provides us with an important regional platform to chart out the next steps to take forward these important committees and to forge partnerships,” said Steve Kraus, regional director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team, Asia Pacific.

The Community Forum, a pre-Congress event, is already underway from Wednesday through Friday in Busan, with eight day-long forums playing out to reflect the main concerns of the communities. Civil society representatives from the Asia Pacific region together with experts, donors, human rights activists and other stakeholders are set to join the Community Forum.

Aside from the pre-Congress event, ICAAP10 covers a wide range of issues through plenary sessions, symposia, satellite meetings, skills-building worships and numerous presentation sessions.

The plenary sessions invite the world-renowned researchers, community advocates and leaders from public and private sectors to share their ideas, knowledge and insights into AIDS-related issues. Presentation sessions are made up of six tracks, whose themes range from the evolving epidemiology of HIV in Asia and the Pacific to engaging communities for effective responses.

The conference’s location and related infrastructure is well-suited for foreign participants, organizers said. Busan, the country’s second-largest city, has already hosted major international events such as the 2002 Asian Games, 2005 APEC and some of the games for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals.

For further information about the conference and related events, visit its official homepage at http://www.icaap10.org

By Yang Sung-jin (insight@heraldcorp.com)
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