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Mary Lou McDonald MEP calls for action on Irish AIDS Day

15 June, 2005


Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today called for a global response to tackle the AIDS pandemic spreading across the globe.

Ms McDonald made her comments to mark 'Irish Aids Day' which aims to raise awareness about the disease in Ireland.

Speaking from Brussels Ms McDonald said:

"There are approximately 40 million people across the globe living with HIV/AIDS. Of this number almost 50% are women and 90% from developing countries. Within the developed world the number of people living with HIV has doubled since 1995. This is an issue of global significance, which requires united global action. The most recent UNAIDS/World Health Organization estimates show that, in 2004 alone, 4.9 million people were newly infected with HIV.

"There is a need for more research and development of therapeutic and preventative treatments. There is also need for a greater promotion of sexual health and safe sex practices.

"Whilst local organizations such as the Dublin AIDS Alliance and international organizations such as the UN are working hard to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, much more must be done at a global level. In particular, I want to call on EU leaders to do more to assist the developing world in combating the ever growing pandemic.

Political leaders need to recognize the relationship between poverty, discrimination and HIV/AIDS, and the centrality of implementing the Millennium Development Goals to breaking the cycle of underdevelopment, poverty and disease." ENDS

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