Feb. 1, 2004 – Lois Sanders, formerly director of the V.I. Health Department's HIV/STD/TB program, has been invited to a March conference, "A Multicultural Caribbean United Against HIV/AIDS," in the Dominican Republic.
The conference is in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico, CARICOM, Caribbean Epidemiology Center of the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Office of AIDS Research, and the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
Although Sanders now works with the university, she said in a telephone interview that she will be going to the conference. It's important, she said, that the Caribbean countries be active internationally.
As director of the program, Sanders chaired the V.I. conference on St. Thomas in 2000. That conference focused on prevent and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was attended on-site by more than 500 persons and was broadcast via satellite to several Caribbean countries. The Virgin Islands program personnel, she said, are proud of the fact that they started the international Caribbean conference with that 2000 conference.
The V.I. conference was also in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, which is starting to put more resources into the Caribbean in recognition of the high incidence statistics of the area.
In earlier recognition of her work in the field, Sanders was also invited in 2000 by NIH to participate in the international conference held in Durban, South Africa. Sanders worked in the HIV/AIDS area from 1990 until September 2003, she said, and it was "a difficult field to leave." She now is assistant director of the 4-H family and consumer sciences programs in the Cooperative Extension Service on UVI's St. Croix campus.
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