Georgia and USA Build up Success in Battling HIV/AIDS
06 December, 2012
Georgia and  USA Build up  Success in  Battling HIV/AIDS

On December 1, at 1:00 p.m., U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland joined First Lady Sandra Roelofs to commemorate World AIDS Day at Muza theater hall in the Vake district of Tbilisi, together with government officials. The day’s events focused on raising public awareness among youth and feature an HIV/AIDS awareness-themed photo and slogan contest.


Through events like this, as well as through the healthy lifestyle topics in the secondary school curriculum, the U.S. Government is raising awareness among youth of how
HIV/AIDS is transmitted, reducing the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, and helping to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Georgia. The program, administered through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has also developed and piloted a healthy lifestyles curriculum for secondary schools that was adopted by the Ministry of Education earlier this year.
“This year’s slogan is zero new HIV cases, zero stigma and zero death cases in Georgia,” Sandra Roelofs mentioned.
“World Aids day is the remembrance for those who lost their lives, and also the celebration for those whose lives have been improved in Georgia and throughout the world,” Richard Norland, U.S. Ambassador noted.
Over the past decade, the U.S. Government has dedicated more than $7 million to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Georgia. The current five-year $6 million HIV Prevention Program builds on successful disease prevention by continuing support for voluntary counseling and testing services that are delivered directly to the most at-risk populations.
Gigi Tsereteli, member of the Parliamentarian Minority, former Health Minister, mentioned: “I very much hope that this turbulent period will pass in Georgia and we’ll have a chance to focus on such serious issues too. As the President of the U.S. mentioned in his speech of 2012, the main challenge for America is to live without AIDS. Our main focus too must be our future generation who will live without this disease. For this, of course, it is important to promote healthy life-style.”
Mako Jashi, Deputy Minister of Health noted: “Georgia is the first post-Soviet country that since late 80ies implements the AIDS curing program. The prevention and treatment of HIV will remain the priority of our ministry and we hope for the consolidation of the civil society.”
Georgia has one of the lowest AIDs rate in the world – around 3600. This is the official statistics but the cases are supposed to be much more than that. Overall, the country receives $17 million from the Global Fund, which is supposed to be gradually reduced.

 

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