Vienna, 30 November 2009 Press release

Spindelegger: "Vienna to become the centre of the worldwide struggle against HIV/AIDS next year"

Foreign Minister on World AIDS Day

Vienna, 30 November 2009 -"The World AIDS Day is a day of worldwide solidarity with those infected with HIV, those suffering from AIDS, and those close to them. Today, more than ever, we must make people aware that the AIDS pandemic is still spreading and is claiming thousands of victims. Everyone must contribute to the fight against AIDS, for instance through information and sensitization", said Foreign Minister Spindelegger on the occasion of the World AIDS Day on 1 December.

This year’s World AIDS Day also marks the starting point for the preparations of the World AIDS Conference scheduled to take place in late July 2010 in Vienna. Some 25,000 participants and 2,500 media representatives are expected to attend this most important congress on HIV/AIDS worldwide. This puts Vienna in the same group with Barcelona (2002), Bangkok (2004), Toronto (2006) and Mexico City, where the last conference took place in 2008. The conference in Vienna will deal with the scientific, programmatic, and political developments on the topic of HIV/AIDS, with a regional focus on Eastern Europe and Central Asia: "Vienna, being a traditional hub between East and West, will once again become a place of international encounter and future-oriented dialogue as a result of this important conference", said the Foreign Minister.

2010 is a decisive deadline in the global struggle against HIV/AIDS: By then, universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care is to be guaranteed. A prerequisite for the successful fight against HIV/AIDS is the respect of human rights: "Protection against discrimination, the dignity and self-determination of those affected, and equal access to health care and life-saving prevention programmes must be guaranteed worldwide“, said Spindelegger.

Moreover, HIV/AIDS is a major challenge in the developing countries. As part of its development cooperation, Austria is engaged through contributions to the Trust Fund of the UN Development Programme for the fight against HIV/AIDS or the promotion of HIV/AIDS projects in Nicaragua and in Southern Africa.

18th International AIDS Conference

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