Institute continues involvement in the crisis by co-sponsoring half-day event with Congressional Economic Leadership Institute

Washington, DC The International Intellectual Property Institute, in conjunction with the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute (CELI), hosted a briefing for Congress on the role of the U.S. government in the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The half-day program was co-chaired by Congressmen Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) and featured several renownded experts on the crisis. Specialists from the World Bank, CDC, NIH, USAID, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School and the Embassay of Senegal, among others, shared their insights during panel discussions and answered questions from the audience. The briefing concluded with a keynote luncheon speech by Bill Steiger, Special Assistant to the Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. The program agenda, speaker biographies and materials are available here.

With the goal of helping Congress determine its role, the four panels examined the status of the crises, the state of related science, approaches to intervention and prevention, care and treatment, and discussed how the resources and leadership of the U.S. government can most effectively be used.

“This has been one of the best programs I’ve participated in. It was an incredibly valuable discussion,” said Congressman Kolbe. More than 130 people, including Representatives Don Payne (D-NJ), Donna Christian-Christensen (Delegate-VI), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jim Greenwood (R-PA), attended the event in the Rayburn House Office Building.

IIPI is already planning a follow-up program in September dedicated to the intellectual property issues associated with this pandemic.

The IIPI has been involved in research and discussion of the HIV/AIDS issue since its founding in 1998. IIPI recently published Patent Protection and Access to HIV/AIDS Pharmaceuticals in sub-Saharan Africa, a first-of-its-kind report examining the patent status of HIV/AIDS treatments in all countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

The CELI was created in 1987 as a non-profit, bi-partisan foundation to provide Members of Congress, government, business, labor and academia a neutral forum in which to discuss vital issues shaping the United States’ economic future.