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Thursday, February 16, 2006
Guyana, Haiti Got Millions To Fight HIV/AIDS In 2005

Hardbeatnews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Feb. 10, 2006: The U.S. State Department this week revealed that the Bush administration gave more than 70 million to two Caribbean countries in 2005, to help fight the dreaded disease, HIV/AIDS.

Figures released by the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for fiscal year 2005 showed that Haiti, which according to UNAIDS has the most reported AIDS/HIV cases in the Caribbean, received a whopping US$51,785,021 to fund prevention, care & treatment.

Guyana, which is seen as the other Caricom nation with the second highest reported incidents of the disease, received US$ 19,392,318, the report stated. All of the other countries to receive funding were in Africa, where the AIDS/HIV rate is put at the highest in the world.

In Guyana, US officials claim they provided US$5,313,127 for treatment, including drugs while US$7,193,958 was given for preventative educational programs - ABC approach: Abstain; Be Faithful; and Correct, Consistent Use of Condoms; and another US$3 million for care.

In Haiti, over US$19 million was apparently given for drug treatment while over US$10 and US$13 million, respectively, was spent on prevention campaigns and care, counseling and testing.

The funds were distributed among a number of health partners, including the Guyana Ministry of Health, which obtained about US$1,7 million for its National Blood Transfusion Services. The Haiti Ministry of Health, National Blood Transfusion Services, received over US$2 while the country’s Ministre de la Santé Publique et Population also got over US$2 million.

In commenting on the US effort, Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, said, “The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is a key example of effective foreign assistance and transformational diplomacy in action. Our approach is to empower every nation to take ownership of its own fight against HIV/AIDS through prevention, treatment and care.

“The Emergency Plan is the largest international initiative ever by one nation to combat a single disease. It complements our multilateral efforts to fight AIDS through the Global Fund, of which America is the largest supporter.”

Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, United States Global AIDS Coordinator, for his part, added, “That partnership involves not just meeting the needs of the people we seek to help, but working with them to grow their capacity for the future. That’s the kind of partnering leadership that our U.S. Government teams have brought to this work, and our nation can be very proud of them.” – Hardbeatnews.com