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Sinn Féin calls for action to tackle HIV and Aids

1 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Councillor for North Belfast, Eoin O'Broin has called for action to tackle the growing number of people both locally and at global levels who have been infected with HIV and Aids.Speaking today at the launch of Belfast HIV/AIDS awareness day Cllr O'Broin said:

"In the north of Ireland there is an estimated 380 people who are HIV positive. Globally the number of those infected is now more than 42 million and this year alone has seen three million people dying from Aids related illnesses.

"Resources must be made available to stop the spread of HIV and Aids and to tackle the stigma and preconceptions that society has to those who suffer from the virus. HIV and Aids affects all sections of society. Half those living with the virus are women and more than half are under the age of 24.

"Resources must now be allocated immediately. Without such resources prevention, education and awareness will not be possible.

"With the Ireland taking the EU Presidency this coming year the Irish government has the opportunity to raise awareness globally and bring attention to the fight against HIV and Aids." ENDS

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