SPC SCHEDULES REGIONAL HIV/AIDS CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 23-25

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 3, 1999 - PACNEWS)---HIV/AIDS workers from around the Pacific will attend the first regional conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Fiji later this month.

Organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the conference will run February 23 - 25 in Nadi.

The SPC's HIV/AIDS project coordinator, Wendy Armstrong, said the response to the conference has been overwhelming. She said HIV/AIDS workers from around the region realize that it will provide a great opportunity to get together and share their knowledge.

The conference will also feature a Youth Forum, with 30 young participants from throughout the Pacific Islands region.

Among other things, participants will discuss regional approaches to HIV/AIDS and STD programs.

Two prominent Pacific Islanders will officiate. Fiji's Adi Lady Lala Mara, wife of President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, will open the conference. The three-day conference will be closed by Princess Alaileula Tuku‘aha of Tonga. The Princess is known throughout the Pacific region for her active support of campaigns to prevent the spread of HIV.

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