Deutsche Presse-Agentur
29 January 2002

U.N. Holds First Meeting to Disburse HIV/AIDS Money

New York - Directors of a United Nations global fund to fight HIV and AIDS held their first meeting Tuesday to agree on procedures to disburse the fund, which has so far received contributions of about 1.7 billion dollars.

The meeting in Geneva of the Fund board was attended by representatives from about 10 countries and organizations like the German Institute for Medical Mission, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Anglo-American PLC. The 10 countries included the United States, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Uganda and Great Britain.

Details of the discussion in Geneva were not revealed, but the announcement of the meeting was made at U.N. headquarters in New York.

The fund was set up last year to collect donations to fight HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world. The United Nations urged contributions of up to 10 billion dollars a year by 2005 to stop the spread of AIDS and the virus that causes the disease, which attacks the immune system and has no cure.

The United Nations said an estimated 40 million people around the world are now living with the virus or dying of AIDS. More than 22 million have died since the epidemic erupted in the early 1980s.

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