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Feb 18,2008
First lady calls for AIDS sensitivity
by UPI

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - U.S. first lady Laura Bush Sunday helped promote Tanzania's new effort to improve the way its citizens treat orphans and children with HIV-AIDS.

"The American people are proud to stand with the people of Tanzania as you confront HIV/AIDS, she said while visiting Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The United States, she said, has helped the Tanzanian government to provide antiretroviral treatment for about 100,000 HIV patients, as well as care for more than 200,000 of Tanzania's orphans and vulnerable children.

"One of the best ways to support orphans and vulnerable children is to eliminate the stigma of HIV," Bush said. "Often children who have lost parents to AIDS are shunned by their family members or neighbors who don't know how the disease is transmitted."

Children with AIDS suffer discrimination, abuse and exploitation, she added.

Bush said Tanzania's National Action Plan will work with schools to add AIDS sensitivity training to their curriculum.

"All of us have the obligation to treat all children with dignity and respect," she said.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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