Minister makes fight against AIDS a priority
29 November 2007, Berlin - The fight against AIDS remains a key element of Germany's development aid policy, Economic Assistance Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said Thursday.
29 November 2007
Berlin - The fight against AIDS remains a key element of Germany's development aid policy, Economic Assistance Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said Thursday.
Some 2.1 million victims are expected to die of the disease this year, the minister said in a statement marking World AIDS Day on Saturday.
She said AIDS had a devastating effect on families, hampered economic growth and increased the risk of poverty.
Of the 33.2 million infected with the AIDS virus, some 94 per cent lived in developing countries, Wieczorek-Zeul said.
"The fight against AIDS remains one of the most pressing issues for the international community," she added.
The minister said virus-inhibiting drugs had helped improve treatment for AIDS sufferers, but the situation still gave cause for concern.
Figures released on Thursday showed 504 people died of AIDS in Germany in 2006, some 83 per cent of them men. There were an estimated 2,700 new infections.
The fatality rate has remained relatively constant for the past five years, according to scientists at the Robert Koch Institute.
An estimated 27,000 Germans have died of AIDS since the disease first surfaced in the 1980s.
Subject: German news