02 June 2003
Santiago, Chile – At a ceremony in the Presidential Palace of La Moneda in Santiago today, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos signed a grant agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The grant is worth up to US$ 13.6 million over two years for the acceleration of the country’s HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs.
Over the next two years, the Global Fund grant will increase the provision of antiretroviral therapy in Chile, effectively wiping out the country’s waiting list by ensuring 100 per cent access to treatment. The grant will also improve integrated health care for people living with HIV/AIDS, decrease mother-to-child transmission of HIV and broaden prevention activities nationwide.
In addition, funding will support alliance-building between people living with HIV/AIDS and the public, private and non-governmental sectors in order to reduce stigma and discrimination. This will bring increased social integration and improved quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.
In his speech, President Lagos reaffirmed the commitment of his government to ensuring comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs, and he called on the private sector and the media to become active partners in the fight against the disease in Chile.
The signing marks the conclusion of the Global Fund’s first round of grant agreements in the region, which will bring up to US$ 71.35 million to the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in five countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America. A second round of grant agreements is currently being negotiated and is estimated to bring US$ 95 million to seven more countries in Latin America.