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Emmy Award Winning Actress Debra Messing Visits Zimbabwe
Date:12/10/2009

Helps PSI, DFID and USAID highlight progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS


HARARE, Zimbabwe, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emmy Award winning actress and PSI (Population Services International) Ambassador Debra Messing is in Zimbabwe celebrating organizations, donors and individuals who have contributed to the substantial decline in HIV prevalence rates in the country. Over the past six years Zimbabwe has seen a dramatic reduction in the adult HIV prevalence rate, from approximately 25 percent in 2003 to 14 percent today. Messing expressed hope that her visit would draw attention to the ongoing need for resources and support to continue the positive trend.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091210/DC24416)

"In a region ravaged by HIV, Zimbabwe has made extensive strides to stem the spread of this disease," said Messing. "Though I am deeply saddened to see the devastation the disease has caused, I am filled with hope when I see the incredible team of people - local leaders, NGOs, the donor community and the people of Zimbabwe themselves - who are joining together in the fight against HIV and AIDS."

Messing, along with a representative of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), is concluding a week-long trip in the country, where she is visiting HIV programs funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and run by implementing partner PSI.

Of particular note was Messing's trip to a hair salon where the hairdressers offered HIV education to customers in the shop. In Zimbabwe, women are disproportionately affected by HIV. Through a program funded by DFID and USAID, PSI is able to reach this vulnerable populatio
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SOURCE Population Services International
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