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Release No: 842-04
August 30, 2004

Military HIV/AIDS Workshop Scheduled

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense are co-sponsoring a three-day Military HIV/AIDS Prevention Workshop from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 in Moscow, Russia. Although the global HIV/AIDS pandemic has been largely concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, the HIV infection rate in Eurasia is one of the fastest growing in the world. The primary goal of this workshop is to communicate and document best practices in HIV/AIDS prevention, diagnosis and treatment among the militaries of Russia and a number of invited European and Central Asian countries

The workshop will feature expert speakers from the United Nations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Russian Ministry of Health on a range of HIV/AIDS topics. Supplementing these speakers will be presentations from military representatives from participating countries and non-government organizations on best practices and policies. These sessions, combined with small group discussions, will help establish international partnerships and improve military HIV/AIDS prevention programs. In addition to the Russian Federation and the United States, other regional participants include: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav Republics of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro.

The U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, the workshops co-sponsor, has been working with non-U.S. militaries for the past four years in an effort to combat the spread of the deadly AIDS pandemic. The Department of Defense recognizes that the military environment often provides a unique structure and organization that can lead to change within a country. Therefore, the department, through its HIV/AIDS Prevention Program is engaged with approximately 35 other countries worldwide. In coordination with the U.S. combatant commands, this program has developed partnerships with non-U.S. militaries, other government organizations such as the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, USAID, and CDC, as well as with universities and other non-government organizations that are active in the fight

Through partnerships, this program is designed to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in participating militaries through powerful and scientifically-based, yet culturally appropriate prevention activities. This workshop in Moscow provides a unique step toward an important alliance in the worlds effort to combat a disease that could become this centurys top infectious killer.

For additional information, the workshop point of contact is Dr. Rick Shaffer, Naval Health Research Center, (619) 553-8528.

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