World AIDS Day: Minister of State Lenihan announces €18 million for HIV/AIDS prevention measures
Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today announced a package of €18 million to support measures aimed at preventing AIDS / HIV infection in developing countries.
The Minister made the announcement following an EU meeting on HIV/AIDS convened in London by the UK Presidency on 30 November. At the meeting, EU Member States agreed a Statement on HIV Prevention towards an AIDS Free Generation. The Statement recognises that without a massive scale up of HIV prevention, more and more people will continue to be newly infected, posing a major threat to affected countries' ability to tackle the epidemic and provide AIDS treatment.
Making the announcement, Minister of State Lenihan said:
“The fight against HIV/AIDS is a key priority for Ireland. We have advocated and will continue to advocate a comprehensive response to the HIV/AIDS crisis affecting so many developing countries. This is a critical moment in the history of HIV/AIDS. There is more political will, more financial resources and more attention being paid to this killer disease than ever before.
Yet, more people than ever are dying of AIDS and infection rates continue to increase. The epidemic continues to outpace our efforts to contain it. We need new prevention options. We must find safe and effective preventive technologies and make them accessible. The benefits that vaccines and microbicides would offer to existing prevention would be enormous and help reduce HIV transmission rates significantly.
I am delighted to announce that Ireland will provide €18 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the International Microbicides Partnership over the next three years.”
Note for Editors:
In 2005 the Government has allocated €50 million for HIV/AIDS programmes – almost 10% of the overall overseas aid budget.
At the Millennium Review Summit in New York in September, the Taoiseach announced that Ireland will double its funding for efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases initiatives to €100 million per annum.
In recognition of the need to maintain a balance approach in supporting prevention, treatment and care, Ireland is investing resources into the research and development of both HIV vaccines and microbicides through the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the International Partnership on Microbicides (IPM).
Today's announcement means that this support is guaranteed up to 2007.
IAVI is a global not-for-profit organization working to speed the search for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. Founded in 1996 and operational in 23 countries, IAVI and its network of partners research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI also advocates for a vaccine to be a global priority and works to assure that a future vaccine will be accessible to all who need it.
The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) was established in 2002 to accelerate the discovery, development and accessibility of microbicides to prevent transmission of HIV. The organization's goal is to deliver a safe and effective microbicide for women in developing countries as soon as possible.