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Law School Hosting Daylong AIDS Symposium
(Released: 11/30/01)

By Allison Thompson, University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- More than two decades after AIDS first appeared, the disease has grown into a full-blown epidemic with millions of people infected and researchers still seeking a cure.

On Monday, Dec. 3, the University of Connecticut School of Law, 55 Elizabeth St., will host a daylong symposium, The Global AIDS Crisis: Human Rights, International Pharmaceutical Markets, and Intellectual Property, during which more than a dozen researchers, lawyers and academics will discuss the legal and medical issues related to the disease.

"The international AIDS crisis has taken center stage in the world arena in recent months as governments, private corporations and non-governmental organizations have grappled with ways to combat this growing epidemic," says Rachel Krinsky, symposium editor for the Connecticut Journal of International Law, the primary sponsor of the event. "This symposium will bring together scholars, governmental representatives, activists and leaders from private industry to explore both the practical and conceptual issues raised by this crisis."

After welcoming remarks, the first panel of experts will discuss intellectual property rights, AIDS drugs and human rights from 9 to 10:30 a.m. From 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., a second panel will discuss intellectual property rights as they relate to AIDS drugs and the global divide.

At 12:30 p.m., Ochoro E. Otunnu will deliver the day's keynote address. Otunnu is the co-founder and executive director of Africa AIDS Initiative, a New York-based organization which was founded to raise public awareness about HIV and AIDS in Africa.

From 2:30 to 5 p.m., the third and final panel will explore the changing role of countries and non-state organizations in the wake of AIDS drugs access decisions in South Africa and Brazil, two of the countries most seriously impacted by the AIDS epidemic.

"This symposium will be at the leading edge of thinking about how issues of global trade and intellectual property intersect with international human rights law," Krinsky says. "Our approach takes as its premise that it is only through an examination of this issue from varied and diverse perspectives that practical, workable solutions will emerge."



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