Ireland Renews AIDS Funds

The spectre of AIDS in Africa is to be again addressed with news that the Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance, Peter Power, is renewing its partnership with the Clinton Foundation to support efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS in Mozambique and Lesotho.

Speaking after a meeting with the President of the Clinton Foundation, Ira Magaziner, Minister Power said: "Our partnership with the Clinton Foundation has been recognised internationally as highly-effective and it is a critical element of Ireland's overall response to HIV/AIDS.

"A recent review confirmed it is delivering real results. In 2003 there were just over 3,000 people on treatment in Mozambique, a figure that had grown to 170,000 by the end of 2009," he said, last week.

Indeed, the number of HIV-positive mothers who received treatment to prevent mother-to-child infection increased nearly a hundred-fold in Mozambique over the same period.

"During a visit to Lesotho in March," the Minister continued, "I witnessed the excellent results which are being achieved through this innovative partnership.

"I met many of those who are receiving treatment and counselling for the first time and spoke to them about its life-changing impact on their families.

"Previously, these patients would not have been able to access treatment and would have had their lives cut tragically short."

He said that he will therefore renew Ireland's collaboration with the Clinton Foundation.

"In 2010, Irish Aid will provide €16 million in funding to tackle HIV and AIDS in Mozambique and Lesotho in partnership with the Clinton Foundation," he explained, noting that Irish Aid and the Clinton Foundation support both countries national plans to tackle the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

The partnership is focused on expanding and improving testing and counselling, the provision of anti-retroviral treatment and critical support for national health systems.

In addition, Irish Aid and the Clinton Foundation work together on key areas such as improving maternal and child health, child nutrition and strengthening health systems.

Minister Power added: "These areas were identified as priorities in the Hunger Task Force report, which Irish Aid is implementing. Our work with the Clinton Foundation on HIV and AIDS is an important part of that commitment, as nutrition is key to successful treatment."


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