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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-02

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] UNAIDS director meets ministers in Athens

  • [01] UNAIDS director meets ministers in Athens

    In a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot on Thursday, Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Styliandis outlined the current situation concerning AIDS in Greece and discussed ways to improve cooperation against the disease in the Balkans, the Black Sea and sub-Saharan Africa.

    Piot also met with Health and Social Solidarity Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    Piot noted that the problem is worst in sub-Saharan Africa but the disease is also spreading rapidly in the Balkans and Black Sea - despite being at relatively low levels - due to poverty and illegal migration. He said this trend is most evident in eastern Europe, especially Russia and the Ukraine.

    The Greek side presented figures showing that incidents of AIDS had increased 25 per cent in 2005 relative to 2004.

    Stylianidis also stressed that Greece has given 3.5 million to the global fight against AIDS in the past six years, while a further 600,000 is scheduled to be spent in 2006 that will be given via UNAIDS.

    Meeting with health minister

    Peter Piot also met with Health and Social Solidarity Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos whom he briefed on the programme of the United Nations for the combatting of AIDS.

    The health minister said that Greece, as also stated by Piot, merits distinction for the manner in which it is dealing with this great problem.

    Avramopoulos presented Greece's policies and actions and noted that "health does not know any borders and constitutes one of the top priorities in the world's political agenda and requires political decisions so that these programmes be implemented and this disease be placed under control, which unfortnately continues to escalate menacingly throughout the planet."

    Piot said that 2006 is a crucial year for AIDS, given that up to the present, 65 million people have been infected all over the world. The UNAIDS executive director added that "AIDS is developing into one of the greatest problems which humanity is facing today," noting that the virus "has rapidly spread to Eastern Europe," even though Africa is the continent which continues to be mostly affected.

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