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Singaporeans Call for AIDS-Drug Subsidies

May 21, 2002

AIDS activists at a candlelight vigil in Singapore Sunday called for the government of this wealthy island nation to subsidize AIDS drugs. Unlike many other developed nations, Singapore does not offer a state subsidy for the drugs, which are too expensive for many Singaporeans, according to Action for AIDS, the group that arranged the vigil. "It's both sad and unfortunate that we are unable to provide affordable care for our own patients," Roy Chan, the group's president, told the crowd of about 150 who gathered to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day, held yearly since 1983. Singapore argues that prevention and education should be the focus, since the drugs do not cure the disease. At the end of last year, 1,599 Singaporeans were infected with HIV, according to government figures.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press

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