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International HIV/AIDS Experts To Meet In Namibia Next Week

Thousands of international HIV/AIDS experts will convene in Windhoek, Namibia, next week for a five-day meeting focused on HIV/AIDS, New Era reports.

Beginning next Wednesday, the 2009 HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting – “Optimizing the Response: Partnership for Sustainability” – will tackle topics such as: “the impact of the financial crisis on HIV/AIDS programming, maternal health, male circumcision, understanding the cost of treatment scale-up” and programs for prisoners and mobile populations, according to New Era. Ways to improve HIV testing in infants and children and new strategies for HIV/AIDS prevention will also be discussed.

“Namibia has made some strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” as reflected in a drop in the prevalence rate from 19.9 percent in 2006 to 17.8 percent in 2008, New Era writes, adding, “The declining numbers are attributed to an improvement in the adoption of protective behaviour measures especially a cut in the number of partners and increased condom use.”

The selection of Namibia to host the HIV/AIDS meeting reflects “the confidence by development partners that both financial and human resources [in the country] are being put to good use,” Richard Kamwi, Namibia’s Minister of Health and Social Services, said.

Sponsors of the meeting include: PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaira, UNAIDS, UNICEF, the World Bank, WHO and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (Sibeene, New Era, 6/4).

Former Boston Globe reporter, John Donnelly, will live blog from the conference here for the Center for Global Health Policy.