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amfAR Urges Iran to Release Missing HIV/AIDS Doctors
Date:8/5/2008

CEO of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, calls the reported detention of two Iranian doctors known for their pioneering work on HIV/AIDS "extremely troubling."

NEW YORK, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, expressed deep concern today over the reported detention by the Iranian government of two Iranian doctors known for their pioneering work on HIV/AIDS.

Frost called the detainment of the two brothers Arash and Kamiar Alaei, "extremely troubling," and called for the release of the two men, who were apparently arrested at the end of June.

"What we are talking about here are two prominent, apolitical HIV/AIDS physicians who are internationally recognized for their humanitarian efforts and work to improve public health," Frost said. "It is of special concern that these two doctors, whose whereabouts remain unknown, disappeared prior to the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Mexico City, where they were scheduled to speak about Iran's HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs."

Frost said he is appealing to the Iranian government to disclose the whereabouts of Arash and Kamiar Alaei and to release them immediately so they can return to their lifesaving work. "Arash and Kamiar were sorely missed at the International AIDS Conference, and their absence is a striking reminder of the ongoing difficulties faced by people who are actively fighting HIV/AIDS in many parts of the world," Frost said.

Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, committee chair of amfAR's TREAT Asia program, who established the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), also called for the release of the two doctors while speaking this morning at the IAC.

"As a Muslim woman, I call on the Iranian government to release these brothers and allow them to continue their vital work," Dr. Kamarulzaman said.

The International AIDS Conference, held every two years, is considered by many to be the most valuable opportunity for the presentation of important new scientific research and for productive, structured dialogue on the major challenges facing the global response to AIDS.

About amfAR

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world's leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $275 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. For more information about amfAR, visit http://www.amfar.org.


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SOURCE American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)
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