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2005-02-11-Sweden Partners With Asian Development Bank To Establish HIV/AIDS Trust Fund To Fight Disease in Asia
Sweden and the Asian Development Bank have partnered to establish an HIV/AIDS trust fund to help raise awareness and fight the disease in Asia, AFP/Tribune de Geneve reports. Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Annika Markovic on Wednesday in Manila, Philippines, announced the formation of the trust fund, saying that the fund will be formally established later this month at a two-day forum on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines sponsored by the Philippine National AIDS Council, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, ADB and the Swedish government. Markovic, who also announced that Sweden will pledge approximately $14 million to the fund, said, "Our aim is to bring together the various sectors of society to look at ways in which HIV/AIDS can be fought" in the Philippines and several other Asian countries, according to AFP/Tribune de Geneve. Austere Panadero, vice chair of PNAC, said that the Philippines has registered about 2,200 HIV/AIDS cases and 69% of HIV-positive people in the country are between 20 and 39 years old, according to AFP/Tribune de Geneve. "Sexual intercourse remains the leading mode of HIV transmission in the Philippines, accounting for 92% of the cases," Panadero said. Jean-Marc Olive, WHO representative in the Philippines, said, "There can be no place for complacency," adding, "While the official numbers of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines is extremely low compared with other parts of the region, we need to know what the reality is on the ground." Olive said that the actual number of HIV-positive people in the Philippines could be between 6,000 and 10,000 (AFP/Tribune de Geneve, 2/9).