Leading researchers to attend Aids talks

NAI YANG: Professors John and Deborah Greenspan, acknowledged as being among the world’s leaders in the field of oral manifestations of HIV infection, will attend the 5th World Workshop on Oral Health and Disease in Aids conference at the Pearl Village Hotel from July 6-10. The couple have been involved in HIV research since the early 1980s when the first cases of HIV infection were recognized in San Francisco. Today, Prof John Greenspan is the Director of the Oral Aids Center (OAC) at the University of California, in San Francisco, while his wife is the OAC’s Clinical Director. Prof Krassanai Wangrangsimakul, former Dean of the Prince of Songkla University’s faculty of dentistry and chairman of the local organizing committee for the event, said that he expects at least 250 other experts from more than 30 countries to also attend the conference. Among them will be Prof Stephen Challacombe, Director for External Development and Clinical Professor of Oral Medicine, Pathology, Immunology, Radiology & Human Disease at Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas’ Dental Institute at King’s College London. Prof Krassanai said, “Thailand is honored to be the host of this workshop. It will be the first time that it will be held in Asia. Thailand has shown the world that it has well-developed knowledge of Aids and intends to prevent it from spreading.” He explained that the event was originally scheduled to be held in Haad Yai, but that unrest in the southern provinces had prompted organizers to hold it in Phuket instead. The workshop, which is held every four years, is aimed at giving HIV/Aids experts the opportunity to evaluate the development of Aids-prevention medicines and techniques. “In the workshop we will explore the development of using saliva tests, instead of using only blood tests. Saliva tests provide quite accurate results, although the results must be confirmed by other methods,” Prof Krassanai explained. He added that experts will lobby for the medication needed by HIV-infected people to stave off the development of Aids to be included under the 30-baht healthcare scheme. Between 30,000 and 40,000 people in Thailand have full-blown Aids. “In Thailand, we have about 500,000 people infected with HIV, but the ages of Aids sufferers are also scary because they range from [secondary school upwards],” he added. Many of the experts scheduled to attend the Phuket workshop are also expected to attend the 15th International Aids Conference, which will be held in Bangkok from July 11 to 16.

Phuket News

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