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March 19, 2003


Emory University Gathers Global Experts to Address Legal, Medical, and Economic Challenges of Fight Against HIV/AIDS

ATLANTA -- A multinational cast of industry leaders, policy makers and leading scholars will gather at the Emory University School of Law April 3-4 for a public symposium addressing the legal, medical, public health and development challenges of fighting the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Called the NEXUS Symposium, the event is an interdisciplinary forum on the impact of international patent and trade agreements in the global fight against HIV & AIDS. Keynote speaker for the symposium will be Stephen Lewis, United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Among the more than two dozen speaker/participants will be:
  • Claudia Adkison, executive associate dean, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Harold Berman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory Law School
  • Alex Coutinho, director, The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda
  • James Curran, dean, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; director, Emory Center for AIDS Research; former director of the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS
  • Madhu Deshmukh, senior technical advisor, CARE International
  • Julian Fleet, acting chief, Policy and Coordination Unit, UNAIDS
  • Peter Lamptey, president, Family Health International Institute for HIV/AIDS
  • Robert Lindsay, director, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
  • Timothy Mastro, deputy director, Global AIDS Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Ruth Okediji, Edith Gaylord Harper Presidential Professor, Oklahoma University School of Law
  • Martha Rogers, professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University; director, Center for Child Well-Being of the Task Force for Child Survival
  • Len Rubenstein, executive director, Physicians for Human Rights
  • Raj Shah, chief policy analyst, senior economist, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA
  • Debrework Zewdie, global HIV/AIDS coordinator, World Bank
  • Paul Zeitz, executive director, Global AIDS Alliance

The symposium will address questions such as:
  • Is there a long-range formula for success against HIV/AIDS in the developing world?
  • Can a point be established where human rights considerations trump intellectual property rights?
  • How can developing nations encourage the production and sale of HIV/AIDS drugs while ensuring these medicines are not inappropriately used or diverted to other countries?
  • In what ways can the global community more effectively enforce the World Trade Organization's TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property) agreement?

The event is being organized by the Emory International Law Review, and sponsored by Emory Law School and Care International.

"The combination of prohibitive costs and rigorous drug regimens often places drug therapies beyond the reach of many developing nations," says Peter Fischer, a member of the Emory International Law Review and symposium chair. "The choices made today regarding intellectual property rights and duties will undoubtedly help shape the contours--for better or worse--of the epidemic in the future."

For more information, or to register for the symposium, contact the Emory International Law Review at 404-727-5774, or visit the symposium web site at

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