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World AIDS Day

Brussels -
Thursday 01/12/2011

Marking the annual World AIDS day, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, stated:

"By the end of 2010, some 34 million people were living with HIV. The good news is that less people suffering from AIDS are dying every year and that the number of new HIV infections is on a downward trend.

The bad news is that the economic crisis might slow down this positive trend and that in some areas of the world like Central Asia and Eastern Europe infections are very much on the rise. A renewed focus should be placed on EU neighbouring countries in the immediate future and with the expiry of the 2009 - 2013 Commission strategy.

Inclusive economic growth and education remain the best antidotes against AIDS. Further efforts in raising awareness are of the utmost importance: people who do not know about HIV are more likely to get infected, to infect others and to delay their cure.

We also need to make sure that research and funding for the treatment of the infected and all preventive practices are maintained and maximised. New vaccines are currently being tested to provide a cure against the virus, but we still need to make sure that drugs for the affected are available cheaply or for free, especially in less developed areas.

Also, on this day, we should remember that our fight is against HIV, and not against HIV carriers. There should be no stigma against those suffering from AIDS.

Only in this way the goal of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths will become truly attainable."

Note for editors:

European Parliament resolution on the EU response to HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries, mid-term review of Commission Communication COM(2009)569 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B7-2011-0615&language=EN

UNAIDS: http://www.unaids.org/en/

World Health Organization: HIV/AIDS http://www.who.int/topics/hiv_aids/en/

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