French First Lady Bruni-Sarkozy Concludes First Trip to Burkina Faso as Global Fund Ambassador
French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy earlier this week concluded her first trip as goodwill ambassador for the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, AFP/Straits Times reports. Burkina Faso's efforts to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS are an example of a "success story," Bruni-Sarkozy said. She also praised health workers' efforts at a hospital in Ouagadougou, where she met HIV-positive women and children receiving treatment at the hospital. "For me, the record is very positive in the sense that I have seen here that everyone works together and obtains results," she said. Bruni-Sarkozy, who became a Global Fund ambassador in November 2008, said that she wants to continue her work by creating a foundation in France. She added, "I want to uphold my engagements as ambassador to the Global Fund" and "devote this year" to her role as its ambassador.
AFP/Straits Times reports that about 130,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Burkina Faso, more than half of whom are women. A United Nations report in 2008 attributed a decrease in the country's HIV/AIDS prevalence -- down to about 2% in 2005 from 7.4% in 1997 -- in part to increased condom use. In addition, the number of HIV-positive infants has decreased in recent years, and the number of people with antiretroviral drug access has increased by thirteenfold in five years, according to the country's HIV/AIDS council (AFP/Straits Times, 2/12).