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Organizers of AIDS conference respond to hotel incident

Organizers of AIDS conference respond to hotel incident

The organizers of the 15th International AIDS Conference, scheduled for next month in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday responded to press reports that a prominent hotel in Bangkok discriminated against HIV-positive visitors attending a different conference this month. HIV-positive guests at the four-star Prince Palace Hotel were all housed on an otherwise empty floor in the hotel and were forced to eat within a section of the hotel restaurant cordoned off to prevent contact with other guests and most of the hotel's staff. In a statement released Thursday, the hotel said it had moved the conference attendees to a single floor, defending its actions as a safety precaution for its employees. "People who complain should think of the staff's human rights too and ways they can protect themselves," the statement said. "This unfortunate incident underscores the importance of continued public education to eliminate misconceptions about HIV/AIDS that exist not only in Southeast Asia but in many parts of the world," the conference organizers said in a statement. "The conference organizers are now working closely with the service industries in Thailand to correct common misconceptions about people living with HIV/AIDS and the risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS through everyday, casual contact so that all delegates will enjoy a productive visit to the conference." The statement also says the Prince Palace Hotel is not one recommended by the conference and will not be used to house its attendees.

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