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Australia Funds HIV/AIDS Initiatives in Asia Pacific

Australia Funds HIV AIDS Initiatives in Asia PacificThe Federal Government last month committed substantial injections of funding into HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and treatment. The money, which will not only be used to fund both campaigns in Australia and the wider Asia Pacific have been praised by health organisations nation-wide.

At home the Government has devoted $10 million to arresting the alarming rate of HIV increase in the Australian community – the last 3 years has seen a 41% rise in infection. At the forefront of the campaign will be television advertising targeting on those at most risk of infection – sexually active gay men.

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In recognition of Australia’s global role in HIV/AIDS prevention, the Government has also committed $530.8 million to prevention efforts in the Asia Pacific Region. The funding, spread over four years, will focus on supportive reproductive health activities, nutrition programmes, the provision of skilled care during pregnancy and the training of health professionals.

‘Effectively functioning health services play a key role in promoting human security and stability and help to break the vicious cycle of poverty,’ Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer said.

Ian Baxter, Executive Director of the Australian Federation of Aids Organisations (AFAO) welcomed the decision: ‘Investment in capacity building means that we can share our learning with our neighbours in a collaborative fashion, working together to strengthen their capacity to find their own solutions within their cultural and political context.’

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