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FOR RELEASE: September 24, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
405/271-5601

Health Education Urged At 13th Annual HIV/AIDS Conference

With more than 4,000 HIV/AIDS cases reported in Oklahoma, health officials encourage participation in the 13th Annual Oklahoma HIV/AIDS Conference, Oct. 3-4, at the Clarion Meridian Hotel and Convention Center, 737 S. Meridian in Oklahoma City.

“Persons working in positions in the fields of health, substance abuse or mental health will find this conference particularly useful,” said William Pierson, HIV/STD service chief for the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). “ I am sure that everyone who attends will leave with new insight regarding prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.”

The conference, co-sponsored by the OSDH, numerous AIDS service organizations, community-based organizations, and pharmaceutical companies will focus on helping people deal with the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Philip Keiser, medical director of AETC-Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, who has many years experience in HIVAIDS prevention, treatment and care, and research.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch will moderate an expert panel that will discuss “Facing the Challenges Ahead” including current research information regarding HIV disease. Guest panelists include: Dr. Walt Senterfitt, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Mike Jackson, clinical director at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections; Dr. Tom Coburn, co-chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS; and Dr. Ronald Greenfield, chief of Infectious Diseases at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Numerous workshops will focus on the latest information regarding hepatitis, prevention programs for women and African Americans, vaccines, legal issues, burnout prevention, and integrating prevention/treatment. There will be time following each presentation for dialog and to ask questions of presenters.

To register for the conference, call 405/271-4636 or visit the conference Web site at www.oklahomaHIVconference.org. A limited number of scholarships are available, and can be accessed by calling 405/271-3330.

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