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Launch Of Hiv/Aids Action Plan Not A Day Too Soon

NZAF Says Launch Of Hiv/Aids Action Plan On World Aids Day Does Not Come A Day Too Soon.

‘On World AIDS Day, and a few days after the joint report from UNAIDS & WHO on the global increase in the epidemic, the NZ HIV/AIDS Action plan is a clarion call for our communities to wake up to the fact that HIV has not gone away”. said Rachael Le Mesurier, Executive Director of the Foundation

The Ministry of Health’s launch of the updated and extended HIV/AIDS Action Plan is a timely initiative as NZ faces the increasing threat of a rising epidemic amoungst men who have sex with men in New Zealand.

“The revised HIV/AIDS Action Plan is a welcome step to mobilising all forces to fight the increasing threat of a NZ wide epidemic. The plan and the resource book provide important tools for work with the gay community.

It’s clear that the global epidemic is presenting in different ways in different countries, but the pattern is the same - HIV is increasing at an alarming rate. To date in 2003 we have seen 112 new cases which is higher than the 107 in all of 2002.

It is clear that western countries are seeing a significant increase in gay communities. For the gay community, media and policy makers the challenge is not to succumb to complacency – we need to all keep the ISSUES OF HIV/AIDS at the forefront of our concerns.” said Rachael Le Mesurier

NZ cannot afford to be complacent. It is here and the trend in new cases is up. Access to treatment and resourced prevention programmes must remain centre stage and the extended HIV/AIDS Action Plan launched today is a step in the right direction. NZAF supports one of the key message that:

“The only ‘cure’ we have is prevention and that means safe sex (wear a condom) and safe injecting.”

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