More than 4,000 public health officials and HIV/AIDS activists from 65 countries are meeting from August 9 - 14, 2009, in Bali discussing how to provide better care to the growing number of victims in the Asia-Pacific region.
Opened by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the International Congress on Aids in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) is the ninth such meeting of its kind.
Delegates at the Bali conference are seeking ways to ensure that all AIDS sufferers have access to critical antiretroviral treatments necessary to the prolongation of life for those affected with the disease. Current estimates are that only 25% of the estimated 1.7 million people in the Asia-Pacific region requiring the medication obtain free antiretroviral treatments. Throughout the Asia-Pacific region an estimated 5 million people are afflicted with HIV/AIDS, claiming 380,000 lives in 2008.
The number of HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia have tripled since 2005, with prisoners, prostitutes and intravenous drug users considered the groups most at risk.
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