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FOR RELEASE: September 27, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

HIV/AIDS Conference Topics to Impact Everyone

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders will address education and personal responsibility regarding HIV/AIDS as one of three keynote speakers featured at the 12th Annual Oklahoma HIV Conference Oct. 11-12 in Oklahoma City.

The conference will provide an educational forum on HIV and its effect on entire families and communities as well as improvements necessary at the local level for HIV diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The conference will be held at the Hilton Inn Northwest, 2945 NW Expressway in Oklahoma City.

The conference is sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, CarePoint Inc., and other AIDS service organizations. Conference organizers hope health care providers, persons living with AIDS and their families, and the general public will mark the date on their calendars.

“As of June 30 this year, approximately 4,200 persons in Oklahoma were living with HIV and AIDS. This is a very real public health issue in Oklahoma and one we hope more people will want to learn about,” said William R. Pierson, chief of the state health department's HIV/STD Service. “We are encouraged with the public's response thus far.”

Conference participants can choose from a variety of HIV/AIDS topics on the program agenda, including:

  • Herpes
  • Church and HIV
  • Effects of HIV on the Hearing Impaired
  • Hepatitis C
  • Triple Diagnosis (HIV/Mental Health/Substance Abuse)
  • Medical Updates
  • African Americans and HIV
  • Effects of AIDS on Children
  • Surviving Grief
  • HIV Prevention for Women
  • HIV Prevention within the African American Church

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, who served as Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service under President Bill Clinton and was the first African American woman to hold that post. Elders is a pediatric endocrinologist.
  • Dr. Rafael M. Diaz, who is the Director of the Center for Community Research (CCR) at San Francisco State University and conducts research programs with ethnic minority populations related to sexuality, social inequality and health.
  • Sandra S. McDonald, who is the President and Founder of OUTREACH, Inc., the first minority non-profit community-based organization. McDonald will discuss substance abuse and HIV.

The overflow hotel will be the Quality Inn at 5704 Mosteller Drive, located behind the Hilton Inn Northwest. The Quality Inn phone number is 405/810-1100. Conference registration is $75 after October 1. For conference information or to register, call CarePoint, Inc. at 405/232-2437 or visit the conference web site at www.oklahomahivconference.org.


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