Thai Senator Announces New HIV/AIDS Fund That Seeks $1 From 6 Billion People
Thai Sen. Mechai Viravaidya on Friday at the closing plenary session of the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, announced a campaign to encourage six billion people to each donate $1 to a new fund to fight HIV/AIDS, South Africa's Cape Argus reports. Donations collected through the fund, called the "People's Global Fund," will be put into a special Thai bank account (Cape Argus, 7/16). Mechai said, "The plan is for everyone in the world to give a dollar. This is not to go to governments, but to community organizations." He added, "Sometimes we expect too much from our politicians. Leadership can also come from the community" (Agence France-Presse, 7/16). The fund will distribute money to AIDS and other nongovernmental workers and people with HIV will decide how the money is used, Mechai said, the Associated Press reports. According to the Associated Press, Mechai "immediately raised a few hundred dollars" from conference delegates (Associated Press, 7/16). The European Union has agreed to cover the administrative costs of the fund, Mechai said (Phermsak, Nation, 7/17). Mechai is the co-chair of the conference and creator of Thailand's public education campaign to encourage condom use (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.