Ethiopian President Receives Medal From UNAIDS for Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Calls for Expanded Efforts To Fight Epidemic
Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, received an award from UNAIDS for his contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS, Xinhuanet reports. UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot presented the medal and said that UNAIDS support in Ethiopia would be strengthened in future years, according to Xinhuanet. Girma pledged his continued support for Ethiopian government efforts aimed at preventing the spread of HIV. The campaign was incorporated into the country's health extension package, which is being implemented at the grassroots level, according to Girma (Xinhuanet, 10/12). At the opening session of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, Girma said that the number of AIDS-related deaths in Africa would continue to rise if prevention, care and treatment efforts were not "massively" expanded, Xinhua News Agency reports. He called on conference attendees -- including leading members of the global HIV/AIDS community and African nongovernmental organizations -- to use the meeting as an opportunity to contribute to the African fight against the pandemic. According to a recent United Nations report, about 25 million people are HIV-positive in sub-Saharan Africa, and more women than men are becoming infected in the region (Xinhua News Agency , 10/12).
Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on Tuesday announced that the fund will provide Ethiopia with $640 million over the next five years for prevention and treatment of the three diseases, Xinhua News Agency reports. Feachem said that Ethiopia has been given "priority" among the 130 countries that the fund supports, according to Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua News Agency , 10/12).