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MONUC helping to break "vicious circle of fear" about HIV/AIDS
Tuesday 18 January 2005
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DRC: MONUC helping to break "vicious circle of fear" about HIV/AIDS


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


NAIROBI, 2 December (PLUSNEWS) - The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as MONUC, is using all of its public information mediums to broadcast HIV/AIDS awareness and "help break the vicious circle of fear, prejudice and ignorance associated with the spread of the disease", the mission's head and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the country, William Swing, said on Monday.

Swing made the remarks in an address to MONUC staff in the Congo, according to a statement the mission issued to coincide with events marking the World AIDS Day. He expressed concern about the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic "that kills five people every minute of every day in the world".

MONUC reported that Swing regretted that adequate resources had not been made available to counter the "awesome challenge" posed by HIV/AIDS.

In the Congo, Swing was quoted as saying, it might be several years until the full impact of HIV/AIDS was revealed.

"A telltale sign of the impending crisis, however, is that patients suffering from AIDS-related diseases occupy up to 50 percent of hospital beds in the country," he said.

He added that MONUC was using the UN Radio Okapi as well as regular newsletters and magazines to broadcast HIV/AIDS awareness. The mission was also striving to ensure that all of its personnel received preventive information as part of their induction into the mission, and had access to voluntary confidential counselling and testing.

HIV/AIDS had reversed development gains and undermined social and economic prosperity as it had hit "every corner of the globe, infecting more than 42 million men, women and children," MONUC quoted Swing as saying.


[ENDS]


 
Recent DRC Reports
Help victims of sexual violence among expelled Congolese, OCHA says,  28/Apr/04
Government, University of North Carolina sign technical agreement,  14/Apr/04
US official in pledge for more aid to combat HIV/AIDS,  16/Mar/04
Focus on rampant rape, despite end of war,  8/Mar/04
Country Profile,  27/Jan/04
Links
AIDS Media Center
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Sida Info Services
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