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'AIDS IS A TIME-BOMB' The first Lady of Germany visits Ukraine in the framework of the Global Campaign Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS.

Odesa, 2 September 2006. The First Lady of Germany, Ms. Eva Luise Köehler, who is also the Patron of the UNICEF National Committee in Germany, is visiting Ukraine to familiarise herself with the assistance UNICEF is providing to Ukraine in combating the threat of HIV/AIDS. Ms. Koehler, joined by First Lady of Ukraine, Ms. Katrina Yushchenko, yesterday visited the Odessa Oblast AIDS Centre Day-Care Centre for HIV-positive children and Education for Health Centre for street children.

Ukraine is the country worst affected by HIV/AIDS in Europe with an estimated 360, 000 people aged 15-49 living with HIV - around 1.4 per cent of the adult population. Some 25 per cent of people living with HIV are under the age of 20 and of the newly registered HIV cases in 2005, 59 per cent were below the age of 30. The number of children born to HIV-positive women is increasing. One hundred and eighty-six children have died as a result of HIV/AIDS.

'AIDS is a time-bomb. The increase of HIV infections in Ukraine, in particular among young people, is alarming. We still have the chance to push back the epidemic but we have to act now,' said Ms. Eva Luise Köehler.

In order to galvanise action for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS UNICEF and other partners have launched a global campaign Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS. On 1 June this year Ukraine joined the campaign that urges for an accelerated response to help children and young people to prevent HIV, to ensure that mothers can prevent transmission of HIV to their unborn children, to ensure paediatric treatment for children in need and provide for the needs of children orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS.

In Germany Ms. Eva Luise Koehler, as the Patron of the UNICEF National Committee, started a fundraising campaign called 'Me and You Against AIDS' to attract funds for the Global Campaign Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS.

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For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world's leader for children, working on the ground in 157 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact: Dmytro Konyk, UNICEF Ukraine/Kyiv 380-50 357 87 58 dkonyk@unicef.org

Attention broadcasters: UNICEF offers news and feature video from countries worldwide at: www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef Everything you need to know about the campaign at www.unicef.org/uniteforchildren www.unicef.org

 

 
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