10 February 2009
Geneva – On 11 February, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will be visiting Global Fund-supported AIDS programs in Burkina Faso on what will be her first official trip as a Global Ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS.
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), approximately 130,000 people are living with the disease in Burkina Faso of which a bit less than half are women. Approximately 10,000 children in the country are estimated to be living with HIV or AIDS.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has two grants in Burkina Faso supporting the fight against HIV and AIDS worth almost US$ 45 million.
A significant part of Global Fund resources are used on measures to raise awareness and prevent the spread of the disease, especially among women and adolescents, and on the improvement of the quality of maternal and child health services. Global Fund-supported programs are also increasing efforts to ensure that HIV-positive pregnant women are given anti-retroviral drugs.
Global Fund grant money is also put to use by training health workers, by promoting voluntary counseling and testing for HIV and by distributing condoms free of charge.
During her trip, Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy will visit a counseling and testing center in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou where people can voluntarily go to, to know their HIV status. She will also visit a hospital where she will meet with women and children who are living with HIV and seeing the efforts made to prevent transmission from HIV-positive mothers to their children. She will meet with health officials and health workers involved with the Global Fund-supported programs.
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy took up her role as Global Ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS on last year’s World AIDS Day, giving a voice on the global stage for the many mothers and children infected with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
In addition to supporting Burkina Faso in its fight against HIV/AIDS, the Global Fund also committed resources towards strengthening the country’s malaria and tuberculosis programs with approved funding of US$ 91 million and US$ 32 million, respectively, bringing the total amount of Global Fund financing for Burkina Faso to more than US$ 168 million.