U.S. Delegation to Travel to African Countries to Learn About HIV/AIDS Epidemic, HHS Secretary Thompson Says
November 26, 2003
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and a U.S. delegation of lawmakers, business people and religious groups next week are scheduled to visit several African countries to examine projects aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS and to mark World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1, Thompson said on Tuesday, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. The group of 80 people are slated to visit Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda -- four countries that are "hard-hit" by the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- and Cameroon, according to Thompson, the AP/Sun reports. The U.S. delegation will include Randall Tobias, coordinator of the five-year, $15 billion U.S. global AIDS initiative, and Richard Holbrooke, president of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Thompson said, "This is the largest and most diverse single mission of its kind, bringing leaders from across the spectrum to witness what AIDS is doing in Africa and what we can do to help Africa fight back." Thompson said that Africa's greatest barriers in fighting HIV/AIDS include a lack of facilities for HIV testing and treatment, the social stigma surrounding the disease and the lack of political leadership in some countries to increase HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs, according to the AP/Sun (Dunphy, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 11/25). Thompson said that he will place "special emphasis" on raising awareness of the epidemic among business leaders, according to the AP/Dow Jones International News (AP/Dow Jones International News, 11/25). On World AIDS Day, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Jong-Wook Lee and UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot will join Thompson in Zambia (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 11/25).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.