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World AIDS Day was held Saturday in Pasadena. GAIA Global Ambassador Jane Kaczmarek and renowned AIDS expert Dr. Michael Gottlieb convened a panel of prominent medical researchers and public health officials for a groundbreaking symposium on the latest advances in the fight against AIDS. GAIA (Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance) and brought together leading advocates to discuss the possibilities of the first AIDS free generation in history.
Dr. Gottlieb, who authored the first report in 1981 that identified AIDS as a new disease, will moderate the panel. Joining him are: Dr. Thomas Coates, Distinguished Professor of Global AIDS Research and Director of the Center for World Health at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Dr. Eric Walsh, Director of the Pasadena Public Health Department and former member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS; and Dr. John Zaia, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Virology at Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope in Duarte, CA.
World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 each year. This year marks the 25th observance. First held in 1988, it is dedicated to raising global awareness in the fight against the AIDS pandemic. The theme for 2012 is “Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation.” Approximately 34 million people are living with HIV globally. HIV remains the leading cause of death of women aged 15 to 59 around the world.