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HIV/Aids

19 March 2008

UK donates R225m to fight Aids

The British government announced a donation of R225 million for the fight against Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa in the next four years.

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The British government announced a donation of R225 million for the fight against Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa in the next four years.

British High Commission spokesman Russ Dixon said the funding was a continuation of the British government's association with Soul City initiatives. Soul City is a radio and television initiative dealing with HIV/Aids and pertinent issues like poverty, teenage pregnancy and xenophobia, in Southern Africa.

"Soul City indicated to us that they wanted to expand to the Sub-Saharan region as a whole in all forms of the media."

R200m invested in past 13 years
Dixon said it was important that they continued their support as the region had the highest HIV infection rate in the world.

The British government had spent more than R200 million on the programme in the past 13 years. The announcement of the funds was made by the British Minister of International Development, Gillian Merron. She is in South Africa for a two-day state visit.

Merron said her government was proud to be associated with such an innovative "edutainment" programme. "Young people deserve to have access to information that can save their lives and Soul City's approach does just that," she said.

Soul City spokesman John Molefe said effective communication was key in the control of HIV and Aids. – (Sapa)

March 2008

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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