Washington, D.C., December 1, 2008 - The Voice of America (VOA) marks World AIDS Day with programming on the prevention and treatment of the disease with special attention focused on Africa, home to two-thirds of all people living with HIV.
"VOA, which broadcasts in 45 languages and has a large audience in Africa, is uniquely positioned to provide people around the world with news and information about HIV/AIDS," said VOA Director Danforth Austin.
VOA has a special Internet site for World AIDS Day at www.VOANews.com/english/AIDS2008.cfm. The site has news reports, including one that looks at testing and treatment worldwide.
VOA's Swahili service, which reaches people in East Africa, conducted interviews with experts in Tanzania and Kenya. Earlier, the service organized a panel discussion to look at progress in tackling the disease. Panelists included Pauline Muchina of UNAIDS and Joshua Ng'eiu of the National Aids Council of Kenya.
VOA's English to Africa service interviewed Leonard Okello of ActionAid, a nonprofit group. He urged developed countries to continue funding treatment for HIV/AIDS despite the world's economic downturn.
VOA's Spanish-language program, El Mundo al Día (The World Today), will feature HIV/AIDS throughout the week. And the weekly Foro Interamericano (Interamerican Forum) program examines HIV/AIDS in Latin America, including a report on a home for HIV-positive children in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The service has a special window for HIV/AIDS on its Internet site (www.voanoticias.com).
UNAIDS estimates 33 million people are living with HIV, with nearly 7,500 new infections daily. The agency says new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are declining, but the epidemic persists around the globe.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.