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FOR RELEASE: August 22, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Pre-Registration for Oklahoma HIV Conference Encouraged

This year's Oklahoma HIV Conference will assist Oklahomans in dealing with the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS and behavior change to reduce risk of infection with HIV. The conference is scheduled for Oct. 18-19 at the Westin Hotel, 1 North Broadway, Oklahoma City.

The two-day conference provides educational information on a wide range of HIV/AIDS topics, including: community level prevention, HIV and women, clinical trials, HIV treatment update, adhering to complex treatment regimens, benefit eligibilities and returning to the work force, TB/AIDS co-infection, and more.

Keynote presenters include Donna Sweet, M.D., a prominent Wichita physician, and Seth Kalichman, Ph.D., Associate Professor with the Medical College of Wisconsin's Center for AIDS Intervention Research. Dr. Sweet will speak on “Current Perspectives in HIV Care” and Dr. Kalichman's keynote address will be “What is Working in HIV Prevention.” He is a colleague of Jeffrey Kelly, Ph.D., who is nationally recognized for his work in models of human behavior change. Mohammed Bilal, former cast member of MTV's “Real World”, who has become a voice for HIV awareness among youth, is the scheduled luncheon speaker. His topic will be “AIDS Awareness: MTV's Real World Reflections.”

Oklahoma State Department of Health HIV/STD Service Chief William R. Pierson said 3,569 Oklahomans were reported as currently living with HIV or AIDS as of June 30, 2000. “The conference offers a forum within which HIV/AIDS service providers, educators, and people living with HIV disease may address critical issues related to HIV prevention, treatment and care,” said Pierson.

Conference registration is $50. After Sept. 30, conference registration is $75. Limited scholarships are available for persons living with HIV/AIDS. For hotel reservations, please call 800-285-2780 or 405-235-2780 and mention the Oklahoma HIV Conference. Additional information is available at: Oklahoma HIV/AIDS Hotline 1-800-535-AIDS V/TDD/TTY or send e-mail to hotline@ionet.net.

For more detailed information about guest speaker Mohammed Bilal, call Laura DeMars, 405-232-2437.

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