DUSHANBE, December 5, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- A regional two-day conference on combating HIV-AIDS in the CIS member nations has opened in Dushanbe today, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Organized by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with CDC (United States), ICAP, UNAIDS, USAID, UNDP, WHO, UNODC, CARHAP and AFEW, the conference has reportedly brought together more than 120 specialists in HIV/AIDS issues, researchers, representatives from public institutions and civil society, people living with HIV, as well as representatives of international organizations.

The conference members include more than 20 specialists in HIV/AIDS issues and experts from the CIS nations, including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Taking into account high rates of new HIV infection in a number of CIS member nations, the conference is widely discussing issues related to combating HIV/AIDS within the CIS area.

The conference participants will give a news conference to reporters today, the source noted.

According to the statistical data from the Ministry of Health, 3,555 HIV sufferers have been officially registered in Tajikistan to date.  Independent experts, however, consider that the real number of HIV sufferers in the country is much higher that the official figure shows.