Campaign to end children being born with HIV by 2015

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France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on Wednesday spearheaded an international campaign to put an end to children being born with HIV by 2015.

The Global Fund, which uses donations from governments to fight HIV, TB and malaria, wants people to let world leaders know via an online petition that they support public money being pledged to the cause.

With sufficient funding, the fund believes it can make HIV-infected newborns a thing of the past.

"Life is beautiful, don't allow AIDS to destroy it before it has even started," said the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a campaign video.

"It's a battle of hope... with your help we can give every mother and every child in the world the right to hope," added Bruni-Sarkozy, who is a fund ambassador.

Last year, around 430,000 children were infected with HIV by their mother.

Without treatment an infected child lives on average for around two years.

Nearly 45 percent of women receive treatment, but "we must do better", said Global Fund director Michel Kazatchkine.

The campaign, which was launched in Paris, features a series of animated films that can be viewed at

A Paul McCartney fundraising concert will also be held in New York at the end of June.

Signatures are being gathered online at until October 5.

The end of the campaign coincides with a donor country meeting which will be held in New York to secure pledges for 2011 to 2013.

The fund estimates that it needs around 19 billion dollars for the period.

© 2010 AFP

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