Health minister represents Pretoria at UNAIDS session

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is leading the South African delegation to the special UN General Assembly session on AIDS, which begins Monday in New York.
The heads of state from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland are scheduled to address the three-day conference.
Representatives of the South African National AIDS Council, senior departmental officials from education, health, labour and social development, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS are also on the delegation.
The UN session is expected to discuss the importance of political leadership in developing effective responses to the stigma associated with the disease.
Participants will also look at ways of increasing resources to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS through a global fund, and the crucial issue of improved access to treatment, prevention and care.
Since the international conference on AIDS was held in South Africa last July, European governments have begun to shift their focus toward treatment programs in developing countries, while OAU leaders have agreed to spend more on anti- AIDS drugs and prevention.
The WHO and the UNICEF have stressed the need to supply anti-AIDS drugs.
An estimated 4.
7 million South Africans or one in every nine persons were infected with HIV by the end of 2000, according to the latest government reports.

25 june 2001 10:02:00

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