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Ford Foundation Says Rights and Opportunity Are Critical for People Living Longer with HIV
Date:8/1/2008

Advanced Treatment is Extending Lives, but Social Progress is Needed for People to Live Full Lives with the Disease

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As millions of people across the globe begin accessing treatment and care for HIV/AIDS, the Ford Foundation today said that creating a world where people with HIV/AIDS can lead full lives with dignity, purpose and access to opportunity is a critical priority in the global response to the disease.

The foundation invited donors, government agencies, NGOs and others to come together around initiatives that advance human rights, elevate leaders from marginalized groups to the highest levels of the AIDS movement, promote government accountability on both medical and social progress, and ensure equitable distribution of AIDS programs and services.

"Discrimination against people who are HIV positive runs rampant. As the population living with HIV grows, we need to ensure they live lives with the full array of rights and dignities all individuals deserve," said Ford Foundation President Luis A. Ubinas.

The call comes on the second anniversary of the launch of the Ford Foundation Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS, which has worked to ensure that massive global investments in medical and technological breakthroughs are matched by an equally significant focus on the social dimensions of the disease.

"With millions gaining access to life-saving drugs and treatment, the battle against AIDS enters a critical phase. We must address the long-term, deeply entrenched social challenges that stand in the way of people living full and productive lives with the disease," said Jacob A. Gayle, the foundation's deputy vice president, who leads its Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS. "This means confronting head on the discrimination and lack of opportunity that made so many vulnerable to the disease in the first place."

For more than 20 years, the Ford Foundation has supported grassroots eff
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SOURCE Ford Foundation
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