HC Deb 07 February 2001 vol 362 cc597-8W
10. Dr. Palmer

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps Britain and the international community are taking to combat AIDS world wide; and if she will make a statement. [147647]

Clare Short

The fight against HIV/AIDS is a key priority for my Department. We continue to give greatest priority to prevention, but we also place great emphasis on reducing the personal, social and economic impact of illness and death caused by the disease.

Five per cent. of the population of Africa are infected though rates vary greatly between countries. Infection rates among young people in Uganda, Kenya and Zambia are falling.

Infection rates are rising sharply in China, India, Bangladesh and other Asian countries. Because of the large population in Asia there is a risk that numbers of infections will far outweigh those of Africa.

We spent over £100 million on HIV/AIDS related work last year, and we fully expect to spend more this year.

18. Mr. Jim Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's work on AIDS in southern Africa. [147656]

Clare Short

We have recently agreed with Southern African Development Community (SADC) a Regional HIV/AIDS Programme channelled through the SADC Health Sector Co-ordination Unit, for the provision of £7.5 million over four years for Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. The programme focuses on developing the capacity within each country and across the region to mount an effective response to the epidemic. It complements a number of existing DFID supported HIV/AIDS programmes in South Africa, including support for the National Aids Centre, condom social marketing, Carltonville mineworkers, National Reproductive Health and Provincial reproductive health and in Lesotho, a condom social marketing programme and activities supported by the World Bank, EC, USAID, Belgium and other development assistance programmes.

We are also funding the design of a youth magazine on HIV and AIDS with the goal of distributing a copy to every 12 to 18-year old in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. The first official launch of the "Choose Life" booklet took place on 31 January in Botswana.

In South Africa itself, we are planning a new HIV/AIDS Programme to commence this year with a budget of £13 million over four years. This programme will focus on attitudinal and behavioural change activities and technical responses to issues such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases and TB.

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