Governments tackle stigma on World Aids Day

January 13, 2009

Governments tackle stigma on World Aids Day

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
1ST DEC 2009

“There is a need in Africa to educate people on the killer diseases and ailments such as Aids, malaria, dysentery, cholera,” said Kidjo, a United Nations Children’s Fund goodwill ambassador.

“It is pleasing to note that treatment for these diseases is becoming more accessible to people,” said Kidjo.

Kidjo, who performed in South Africa on Saturday, is travelling to Dakar later on Monday for a two-day musical campaign aimed at reducing the stigma of Aids.

Hu’s visit to a hospital in Beijing was also designed to strip away some of the stigma attached to the virus, following the launch on Sunday of a campaign being conducted with the United Nations to raise awareness about HIV/Aids.

“Stigma and discrimination are major obstacles in an effective response to Aids,” said Health Minister Chen Zhu at the launch of the campaign at the Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium.

“We need to engage all sectors of society in China to combat these issues and work to stop the disease.”

Meanwhile, in Washington, the White House said that Bush’s emergency plan for Aids relief (Pepfar) had now supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for over 2,1-million men, women and children living with HIV/Aids around the world, including more than two million people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The programme provides funding for HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis treatment in 15 focus countries among the world’s poorest, mainly in Africa.

“Pepfar is the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in human history,” White House spokesperson Dana Perino said in a statement. — Sapa-AFP

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