Drive to target HIV in eastern Europe

Samaritan's Purse International (UK) and Geneva Global, an American philanthropic services firm, are launching a joint £855,000 campaign to tackle HIV and Aids in eastern Europe.

The three-year initiative will target 22 countries, including Russia, where the charity estimates that up to 15 million people will become HIV-positive in the next seven to 10 years. It claims the infection rate there is faster than in Africa.

Samaritan's Purse is already working alongside local organisations in these countries. Its head of programmes and projects, Jonathan Hett, said: "The HIV/Aids problem in these countries is like a very ugly iceberg - we must act now to reduce the risk of people becoming infected and help those already infected at the same time."

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