Dutch up ante in fight against AIDS
Dutch Overseas Development Minister Agnes van Ardenne announced on World AIDS Day that the Netherlands would provide an extra EUR 5 million in funding for AIDS drugs in the sub-Sahara region.
1 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Recognising the urgency of the AIDS crisis in southern Africa, Dutch Overseas Development Minister Agnes van Ardenne announced on World AIDS Day that the Netherlands would provide an extra EUR 5 million in funding for AIDS drugs in the sub-Sahara region.
Van Ardenne said the Netherlands wished to help build a larger stock and quicker supply of AIDS drugs to sufferers in southern Africa. The Dutch International Dispensary Association will work to ensure the availability of the drugs.
The minister also said Wednesday that the AIDS epidemic is increasingly affecting women. Some 47 percent of the 45 million HIV-positive people are women and this year's World AIDS Day focused on female sufferers.
"Women and girls are the most susceptible and the most vulnerable. Worldwide, almost half of the people with HIV is female, but in sub-Sahara Africa that is even 60 percent," Van Ardenne said.
During its European Union Presidency, the Netherlands has particularly worked to assist female AIDS sufferers. In 2003, the Dutch government donated EUR 145 million to combat the spread of AIDS.
Meanwhile, Minister Ardenne was also scheduled to open the eighth National SOA*HIV*AIDS Congress in the Amsterdam RAI on Wednesday. The event was organised by the Dutch AIDS Fund, SOA AIDS Netherlands and the international organisation Stop AIDS Now! (SOA means STD in English).
Dozens of international and Dutch guests were to speak at the event about the economic consequences of HIV and the problem of AIDS. Some 800 people were expected to gather at the congress centre, including Mabel Wisse Smit, the wife of Prince Friso.
The organisation Zip your Lip was calling into three schools in Amsterdam and a school in Utrecht on Wednesday to invite students to sit an exam to test their knowledge about AIDS.
The focus of the action is to promote a 24-hour fast in March to highlight world poverty. It is hoped the fast will raise EUR 500,000 in charity to be distributed among AIDS projects in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Youth broadcaster Radio 538 will auction via telephone or SMS a purple limousine from 7pm. The opening offer is EUR 5,000 and the proceeds will go to the organisation Dance 4 Life, which raised about EUR 2 million on Saturday night for various AIDS projects.
In the Netherlands, there are about 10,000 people infected with HIV or who have contracted AIDS.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news