Ted Turner Pledges $12 Million to Fight HIV/AIDS in Africa
Atlanta businessman and media giant Ted Turner has allocated more than $12 million to HIV/AIDS prevention strategies in eight southern African countries "hit hardest" by the virus, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The money will be distributed through the United Nations Foundation, the organization established by Turner three years ago to allocate funds. Foundation spokesperson David Harwood said that the foundation aimed to be "thematic" in its choice of grants, and this time chose HIV/AIDS as one of its two areas to support. "We are extremely proud of this strong package of community-based projects addressing the social, economic and health challenges associated with HIV/AIDS in Africa," Foundation President Tim Wirth said. The list of grants includes:
- $4 million over two years to the U.N. Children's Fund to establish projects in eight developing countries addressing the feasibility of specific antiretroviral drug treatments designed to reduce vertical transmission;
- $2.3 million over 18 months to the U.N. Development Program, the U.N. Population Fund and the U.N. Children's Fund for a project to fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa, especially among young people. The project will involve youths in the design of prevention programs;
- $1.3 million over 18 months to aid U.N. efforts in Lesotho to improve reproductive health care and education for adolescent girls and to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS by 5% in the country's "hardest hit districts" by 2003;
- $1.1 million over 18 months to help UNAIDS prevention and treatment efforts in Swaziland, including the development of a "comprehensive AIDS prevention program" in the country's four regions, improvement of counseling and testing services and care for people living with the virus;
- $2 million over 18 months to assist an Adolescent Program Initiative in southern Africa run by UNAIDS. The program will link nine county-level projects and gather resources for community-level work on HIV/AIDS;
- $821,000 over two years to UNAIDS for its global initiative to "close the gap between the global need and the resources available to combat AIDS" (Ahmed, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/21).