More than 25 years after the disease was discovered, an international AIDS expert will be speaking about the future of the disease at a public lecture at Carleton University Thursday.

HIV-AIDS is cannot be treated as just another disease, said Alan Whiteside.

"We have to reposition HIV/AIDS," said Whiteside, who is a professor of economics and director of the Health Economics and HIV-AIDS research division at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. "It's been around for 25 years and we have to look at where it's going."


This is an important topic to discuss now because "in the face of financial crisis, there are going to be fewer resources for health," Whiteside said.

AIDS is an exceptional disease in many settings, said Whiteside — while it affect tens of thousands of young people in hyper-epidemic countries, it also affects people in Canada "who tend to be on the margins with less access and care."

"Even 25 years after the start of the epidemic, there is no cure for the illness," said Whiteside.

The talk, which is expected to attract people who deal with the epidemic, policymakers, academics and students, begins at Carleton's Azrieli Theatre on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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