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The President of the Republic met with Ambassadors of HIV programme donor countries

President Arnold Rüütel today met the Ambassador of the United States of America, Joseph M. DeThomas, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Finland, Jaakko Blomberg, to discuss with them the implementation of a programme of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria in Estonia.

The President of the Republic thanked the inter-embassy contact group and donor countries for the help given to Estonia in fighting the spread of HIV and drug abuse.

President Rüütel emphasized that it was necessary to concentrate our efforts, first of all, on the work with the young, for the infection with HIV was most widely spread just among young people. According to the President of the Republic, young people should be given more information about the consequences of drug abuse and HIV, and also about how to prevent infection. In addition, President Rüütel deemed it necessary that society would increase pressure on those concerned: for instance, teachers and fellow pupils as well could be involved in prevention.

The American Ambassador said that now, the Global Fund having decided to allocate money, the donor countries and Estonia should react quickly. For that purpose, according to Ambassador DeThomas, four aspects were to be considered: we should have a clear strategy; well organised action of the Government, representatives of the donor countries and society; effective coordination and a clear message to the public.

Both the Ambassadors and President Rüütel underlined that the fight against HIV needed society’s attention and a public discussion because this was a problem concerning all of us.

The contact group of donor countries consists of the Ambassadors of five countries (the United States, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden) and meets on a regular basis with Estonian authorities and international organisations in order to help prevent HIV spreading in Estonia.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 22, 2003

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