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Global Fund welcomes Carla Bruni-Sarkozy as Global Ambassador protecting mothers and children against AIDS

01 December 2008

Paris – Today, on World AIDS Day, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy agreed to work with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to serve as a Global Ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will act as a voice on the global stage for the many mothers and children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, especially drawing attention to the need to give pregnant women and their children the means to prevent HIV infection and to fight the disease. Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy will act in her private capacity.

“I am grateful and delighted that Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has accepted to take on the task as Global Ambassador protecting mothers and children against AIDS,” said Dr Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. “As an ambassador for this cause, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has chosen a major priority for prevention and access to treatment for scale-up of much needed health services. She will be giving a strong voice for the needs of a group who often are not heard on their own.” Read Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's speechdownload in Français ] .

According to the 2008 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, the fight against AIDS is beginning to see strong success in some areas, such as providing treatment for those living with HIV, but frustratingly little progress has been made in preventing transmission of HIV from mothers to their children, and in assisting women protecting themselves from HIV infection.

Women are more physiologically and socially vulnerable to infection, suffering disproportionally from the epidemic’s negative effects. As the primary caregivers in Africa and other regions, women have seen their household and community burdens grow as a result of HIV, often compromising their health and their ability to generate income. Children are also among the most vulnerable groups, putting them at risk physically, emotionally and economically.

The Global Fund is supporting AIDS programs around the world which aim to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS on mothers and children with activities like counseling and testing, prevention-of mother-to-child transmission, providing orphans and vulnerable children with basic care and support and providing treatment to people in need of it. The advocacy of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will lead to greater attention on the need to scale up such work worldwide.