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NIDA News Release Contact: Beverly Jackson
Michelle Muth
FOR RELEASE, June 30, 2000

Conferences in South Africa to Focus On the Role of Drug Use in HIV Transmission

Prior to the 13th International AIDS Meeting (July 9-14) in Durban, South Africa, researchers will meet in three separate forums to discuss the role of drug use in the transmission of HIV/AIDS.

"Around the world, 34 million people live with HIV/AIDS. Drug use is a contributing factor in the rising HIV infection rates in South Africa and other countries," said Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "Our goal is to advance the scientific exchange of empirically-based research data on HIV prevention strategies for drug-using populations so that HIV prevention researchers and community providers can develop and implement effective interventions to reverse this alarming trend."

Substance abuse, crime, violence, and HIV/AIDS as consequences of poverty will be the topics on July 1-5 at a meeting in Capetown organized by Howard University and supported by NIDA.

On July 5-7, a consortium of international organizations is sponsoring the third annual Global Research Network (GRN) Meeting on HIV Prevention in Drug-Using Populations. NIDA had a pivotal role in creating the GRN and in supporting its continuation. The agenda for this meeting is designed to facilitate the global diffusion and application of research-based principles on effective HIV prevention strategies for populations of injecting and non-injecting drug users around the world.

The 3rd International HIV Prevention Works Symposium will be held July 8-9. A primary focus of this meeting will be the structural, economic, cultural, and attitudinal barriers to effective HIV prevention.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish by calling NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (889-6432) for the deaf. These fact sheets and further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the Home page at

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