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World Aids Day - December 1

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley says she fully supports the important public health messages which are being promoted on World Aids Day.

"As a former Minister of Health I have witnessed the terrible human cost of HIV/ AIDS. What makes things even more tragic is that in most cases HIV is preventable.

"The groups promoting messages aimed at limiting the spread of this virus must be applauded for their actions. Some of the key messages relate to prevention, safe sex and honest communication within relationships. Those are important messages for a great many New Zealanders.

"It is also vitally important that society provides appropriate and genuine support for people living with AIDS. That includes medical care, and also education to create the sort of society which does not stigmatise those with HIV or AIDS.

'New Zealand is recognised as a country which has skilled educators and health professionals in this area. However that does not allow room for complacency.

"On World Aids Day I would like to pay special tribute to groups like the AIDS Foundation and the Prostitutes Collective, which have demonstrated a true dedication to educating people about the risks of HIV and improving the wellbeing of those who have HIV/AIDS," Mrs Shipley said.


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