Ireland to play a key role at International AIDS Conference
Government to sponsor over 50 people from developing countries, in particular those living with HIV, to attend the conference
Ireland will play a key role at the XVI International AIDS Conference from 14-18 August in Toronto. Held every two years, this year's Conference will mark almost 25 years since the first reports of HIV were made. Since these first reports the global community has learned much about the virus and how to prevent and treat it. However, the epidemic continues to ravage some of the poorest areas of the world and the most vulnerable populations in society.
Ahead of the Conference, Minister of State Conor Lenihan T.D. said:
“Fighting HIV/AIDS is a key priority of the Irish Government's overseas development programme, Irish Aid. Currently €100 million per annum is provided to fight HIV and AIDS. These funds are directed at countries badly affected by the disease and focus on those most vulnerable. At this Conference, Ireland will show-case its work in this area with the Clinton Foundation in Mozambique.
As well as sending a high-level delegation from Irish Aid, I am proud to be able to provide funding to sponsor over 50 people from developing countries, in particular those living with HIV, to attend the conference. The involvement of these participants is critical to the success of this conference.”
This Conference will review global experience and set an agenda for future action. Up to 20,000 participants are expected to attend from around the world including leading scientists, clinicians, health care workers, politicians, civil society representatives, community based providers, people living with HIV and media representatives. Ireland will be represented by officials from Irish Aid, as well as representatives from the domestic and international development non-governmental organisations.
Mary Robinson, President of the Global Ethical Initiative, will be a guest speaker in a session on the importance of Education in fight against HIV/AIDS. Education is known as the social vaccine against HIV. Ireland is also supporting this session.
Note to editors - Irish Aid work in Mozambique
Since 2003 the Government, in cooperation with the Clinton Foundation, has provided almost €30 million to Mozambique. With over 16% of the population infected with HIV, Mozambique is one of the worst affected countries in the world. Irish funds have been used to accelerate the availability of HIV treatment and today over 27,000 people are now accessing treatment.
Further information on the Conference is available at http://www.aids2006.org/
13 August 2006