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12 Apr 2017

UNAIDS ready to help Belarus with new HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment projects

MINSK, 12 April (BelTA) – The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is ready to assist Belarus with implementing new projects for preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe made the statement as he met with Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Zharko on 12 April, BelTA has learned.

Michel Sidibe spoke in glowing terms about Belarus’ progress in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. He said he believes that Belarus can be the first country in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to implement the UN goals of reducing new HIV infections, reducing AIDS-related deaths, eliminating HIV-related stigma and discrimination by 2020.

In turn, Vasily Zharko mentioned UNAIDS’ impressive contribution to fighting HIV/AIDS all over the world, including in Belarus. Vasily Zharko thanked UNAIDS for fruitful cooperation and assistance with preparing applications for international technical aid, including ongoing and past ones.

The deputy prime minister of Belarus stated that through joint efforts the HIV infection rate and the AIDS-related death rate in Belarus had been stabilized. “We are proud of the fact that Belarus is the first country in the European region of the World Health Organization that confirmed the elimination of HIV infection transfer from the mother to the child in 2016,” said Vasily Zharko. In his words, the fact that Belarus has been elected to the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board once again confirms the accomplishments Belarus has secured in fighting HIV/AIDS are recognized by the international community. “In turn, we are ready to make an effective contribution to the operation of the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board and assist with coordinating efforts aimed at fighting the disease at the regional and global levels,” said Vasily Zharko.

Recognizing the acute nature of the HIV infection, the Belarusian government constantly spends money on preventing and treating the disease. Belarus is interested in and counts on continued cooperation in this sphere and technical assistance from international organizations, added the official.

Vasily Zharko said he was confident that orientation towards national priorities and continued active contacts with the public sector will become a reliable foundation for future fruitful cooperation between Belarus and UNAIDS.

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