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March 15, 2004

Windows Wack - Gates Good - part #999

Gates Foundation provides $47 million for AIDS prevention programs in India
By RAJESH MAHAPATRA | Associated Press Writer

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday donated $47 million to private agencies carrying out AIDS prevention programs in India, a senior foundation official said.

The money will help significantly expand access to AIDS prevention programs among high-risk groups in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland, said Rajat Gupta, who heads the board of Avahan — the India AIDS initiative of the Gates Foundation.

Avahan — which means “call to action” in Sanskrit — was launched as part of the Seattle-based foundation’s $200 million pledge to help fight the disease in India, where an estimated 4.6 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The pledge was made when Microsoft chief Bill Gates visited India in December 2002.

Monday’s grant will go to five private agencies: three U.S.-based groups, and one each from Australia and India. The five have delivered HIV-prevention services around the world.

Earlier this year, the Gates Foundation sanctioned $67.5 million for projects in two south Indian states — Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Monday’s announcement brought the total grants awarded to India by the foundation to $114.5 million.

The money will be used mostly to promote condom use, encourage responsible sexual behavior and improve the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. It will also complement the Indian government’s efforts in these states, which have high numbers of HIV-infected people.