11 Aug 2004

Australia provides more money for the fight against AIDS

10:18 am on 11 August 2004

Australia is to provide 3 and a half million US dollars for a Pacific HIV/AIDS Grant Scheme to assist Pacific Islands nations to develop and implement country-specific HIV/AIDS prevention and information campaigns.

The scheme is part of Australia's broader regional HIV/AIDS programme, designeed to reduce the spread of the disease and mitigate the effects on people living with HIV/AIDS.

Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, says there are now 7 point four million people living with AIDS in the Asia/Pacific region.

Mr Downer says Australia is intensifying efforts to tackle the looming HIV/AIDS crisis by more than doubling its funding - to almost 428 million US dollars by the year 2010 - to combat the virus and prevent an African-style tragedy in the region.