Tánaiste meets President Bill Clinton to discuss progress in tackling HIV and AIDS 110/2/12
NEW YORK, 10 February 2012 - The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Eamon Gilmore T.D., will today meet with President Bill Clinton to discuss Ireland’s partnership with the Clinton Foundation, which is focused on tackling HIV and AIDS in the developing world.
Ireland – through Irish Aid – works with the Clinton Foundation and the Governments of Mozambique and Lesotho to increase access to HIV prevention and treatment services.
“The Irish Government has long been a major contributor in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said President Clinton. "They helped me begin my work, and their support is stronger than ever, in no small measure because of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore. I am grateful to the Tánaiste and Irish Aid for their help in fighting this epidemic.”
Speaking ahead of his meeting with President Clinton in New York today, the Tánaiste said:
“The number of people who are contracting HIV and dying from related illnesses has fallen by 20% since the peak. This success is largely due to greater access to HIV treatment as a result of substantially lower costs. The Clinton Foundation, with help from Irish Aid, has been instrumental in shaping the markets to reduce the cost of these life-saving drugs.
“With support from the Clinton-Irish Aid partnership, the Government of Mozambique provides 66,000 women each year with drugs to prevent transmission of the disease to their unborn children. About 250,000 people are now receiving treatment for HIV and AIDS, compared to fewer than 2,000 a decade ago. HIV prevalence has decreased by almost one-third since 2006.
“In Lesotho, the partnership with the Clinton Foundation has yielded equally-impressive results, helping to expand counselling and testing services to almost two-thirds of the population today, compared to fewer than one-in-ten people in 2007. Our partnership is also supporting training for specialist health workers; provision of vital laboratory services and the improved procurement and distribution of drugs.
“This partnership is yielding results which we can see and measure and is dramatically improving the lives of millions of the most vulnerable people in Lesotho and Mozambique.”
The Tánaiste assured President Clinton that Ireland remains fully committed to the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
Notes to the Editor
- Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas assistance. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- The Tánaiste met with President Bill Clinton before the Clinton Foundation’s Annual Winter Meeting for Trustees in New York on Friday, February 10.
- There are over 34 million people currently living with HIV in the world. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 22.9 million people living with HIV or 68% of the global total. Southern Africa is worst-affected.
- Ireland and the Clinton Foundation - through its Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) - formed a partnership in 2003 to support the roll out of comprehensive health services in countries heavily burdened by HIV and AIDS
- Irish Aid and the Clinton Foundation support the Governments of Mozambique and Lesotho to tackle the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
- The partnership is focused on expanding and improving testing and counselling, the provision of anti-retroviral treatment and critical support for national health systems. In addition, Irish Aid and the Clinton Foundation work together on key areas such as improving maternal and child health, child nutrition and strengthening health systems.