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Aug 16, 2006

Foundations will fund Caribbean AIDS Media Campaign

Story PictureThere are many issues being discussed at the sixteenth International AIDS Conference, but two of the most positive developments involve advances in science and finance. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports from Toronto.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
It?s been ten years since anti-retroviral therapy revolutionised the way the persons infected with HIV are treated … but that achievement has not slowed the hunt for a vaccine or better yet a cure for the virus.
This year?s AIDS conference features some of the latest scientific developments in HIV treatment and prevention, including Pre and post-exposure prophylaxis … microbicides … vaccines … and male circumcision.

Kendra Griffith
?But these new initiatives are still in clinical trials and it may be years before we know if anything will come of them … but as always, hope springs eternal.?

Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
?If we can discover these new preventative tools and deliver them quickly to the highest risk populations, we could revolutionize the fight against AIDS.?

And Bill Gates is putting his money where his mouth is, having donated five hundred million dollars to The Global Fund and pledging to increase funding to new technology.
But for many organisations, getting those new and old tools to those who need them most is not so simple. According to activists, an important player in getting prevention messages out and ending stigma and discrimination is none other than the media.

Allyson Leacock, General Mgr., Caribbean Broadcasting Corp.
?The power of the media to educate our audiences, and indeed to expand, as Solly suggested, the kinds of programming that will demonstrate to our audiences that we are serious about it, that we will in fact lead this initiative.?

Kendra Griffith
?Regional networks have embraced its new responsibility and with the help of The Kaiser Foundation earlier this year, recently established the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS. Reporting from the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada, I?m Kendra Griffith for News Five.?

It was announced today that the Ford Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation would be joining the Kaiser Family Foundation to jointly provide one million U.S. dollars to support the operations of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership. The funds will provide training to journalists and writers and support the production of original HIV-themed programming for Caribbean radio and television audiences.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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