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Ireland should lead the way in fight against HIV/AIDS – Ó Caoláin

1 December, 2006


Speaking on World AIDS Day, Sinn Féin Dáil leader and spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said the Irish Government should be leading the way in the global battle against HIV/AIDS. He said the Government should actively campaign for reductions in the massive spending by the US, Britain and other powers on military research and hardware and the savings to be used for research on AIDS and in treating those with the disease.

Deputy Ó Caoláin 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. World Health Organization estimates show that, in 2004 alone, 4.9 million people were newly infected with HIV.

"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.

"Ireland should take a lead. The level of military spending by the US, Britain, Russia and other powers is obscene. It dwarfs spending on combating disease, poverty and deprivation in developing countries. The Irish Government should actively campaign for the massive spending by the US, Britain and other powers on military research and hardware to be drastically reduced and the savings to be used for research on AIDS and in treating those with the disease." ENDS

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