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Roots of Epidemic Still Go Unaddressed

Roots of Epidemic Still Go Unaddressed

Debrework Zewdie, the director of the Global HIV/AIDS Program at the World Bank, argues that efforts to fight the pandemic will come up short as long as "fundamental drivers" such as poverty, gender inequality, and the marginalization of high-risk groups are not dealt with. Listen to a Podcast of her speech.

Those sincerely interested in the development of impoverished countries need to bring "an AIDS lens" to work with them, argued Debrework Zewdie, director of the Global HIV/AIDS Program at the World Bank, before more than 100 people gathered at a May 18, 2007, conference at UCLA.

Zewdie said that poverty, gender inequality and sexual violence, and the failure in some cases to get treatment for infected homosexual men were some of the "fundamental drivers" of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The disease now directly affects an estimated 40 million people, and infection rates in many regions continue to rise.

The conference, Global Dimensions of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, was sponsored by six UCLA units: the International Institute, the Latin American Institute, the African Studies Center, the Center for European and Eurasian Studies, the UCLA/Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center, and the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

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