Smart money required to counter AIDS crisis

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London, June 26 : The global fight against HIV/Aids needs smart money, not more money, the world's largest humanitarian agency has claimed.

The World Disasters Report, published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, warned that around 7,000 people a day contracted HIV last year.

And experts have called on governments to face the issue head-on by tackling stigma, improving research and community care and guaranteeing clean, safe water and sanitation.

David Andrews, chairman of the Irish Red Cross, launched the report in Dublin and said none of the problems were unique to any single continent or country.

"HIV/Aids is the disaster that keeps on killing. Day after day, families are destroyed, economies wiped out and communities crushed as economies disintegrate, parents die and children are born with the disease," he said.

"We must grasp the enormity of a disaster that has already killed 25 million - more than a hundred times the number of people killed by the tsunami, our biggest single natural disaster in living memory."

Campaigners also called for more targeted support to help sufferers.

The report noted that HIV is a disaster on many levels. It warned the worst affected countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, where prevalence rates reach 20 percent, development gains are reversed and life expectancy halved.

ANI

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