French first lady Carla Bruni on AIDS trip to West Africa



OUAGADOUGOU (AFP) - French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is in Burkina Faso on her first trip as a goodwill ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.



French first lady Carla Bruni on AIDS trip to West Africa
Bruni, who arrived in the capital Ouagadougou on Tuesday, was set to visit on Wednesday a hospital to meet mothers and their children infected by the HIV virus that causes AIDS, according to a programme distributed to the media.
She will also meet with health officials and charity workers and visit a centre that provides HIV-testing in the West African state that the United Nations ranks as the world's third poorest country.
Bruni will also meet with President Blaise Compaore and his wife Chantal.
Burkina Faso managed to bring down HIV infections from 7.4 percent in 1997 to two percent in 2005, according to a 2008 UN report that said that increasing use of condoms had helped reduce the rate.
The country has some 130,000 HIV-infected people, including 10,000 children.
Bruni, the wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy, agreed in November to become a goodwill ambassador for the protection of mothers and children against AIDS.
Based in Geneva, the Global Fund oversees hundreds of programmes in 136 countries through public-private partnerships that have raised more than 11 billion dollars.
Bruni, who married Sarkozy a year ago, expressed an interest in work to battle HIV following a visit to South Africa, which has one of the world's largest AIDS caseloads.
The supermodel-turned-singer has said she hoped her status as French first lady could be used to advance a worthy global cause

Wednesday, February 11th 2009
AFP
           


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