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AIDS Day conference visits MCO

President Clinton yesterday declared AIDS a severe threat to international security, noting that the spread of the disease has eclipsed “the worst-case scenario of just 10 years ago.”

In a speech at Howard University in Washington to commemorate World AIDS Day, the President said the fastest-growing infection rates are in eastern Europe and nations of the former Soviet Union.

Locally, Medical College of Ohio students and staff are hosts of a conference on AIDS, which started yesterday and finishes today. Dr. Joana Chakraborty, an MCO professor and AIDS researcher, said the conference is designed to educate health professionals and the public about AIDS.

An estimated 500 to 700 Lucas County residents are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The county has the highest rate of HIV infection in the state among young women, according to the Toledo-Lucas County health department.

Dr. Chakraborty said that despite all the publicity about AIDS, many in northwestern Ohio and southern Michigan don't feel that AIDS is a risk.

The public can attend the MCO conference, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Health Education Building on the MCO campus. Cost is $25.

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