Premier Barry O’Farrell has welcomed billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates in the NSW Government’s fight against HIV AIDS.
Speaking at the University of NSW, the Premier said of Mr Gates that it’s individuals who liberate imagination to triumph over the absolute, individuals who own the most inspiring legacies in human ingenuity.
Mr Gates is the world’s richest man, worth US$72.7 billion. He is on a mission to end AIDS through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“So it’s no surprise that, when HIV Aids is still described as an ‘incurable epidemic’, and today nearly half of bloggers on a website believe a cure will never be found for that disease, brilliant research leaders like Dr David Cooper, here at the University of NSW’s Kirby Centre, set themselves to defy convention and absolutes,” the Premier said.
“No surprise that Bill Gates recognises a kindred spirit in the art of the possible and, through the Foundation, is helping to make it not just probable - but before long inevitable that we will achieve the goal set in the NSW Health Strategy by Jillian Skinner ‘to work towards the virtual elimination of HIV transmission in NSW by 2020’.”
The Ending HIV campaign, funded by the NSW Government and produced by community-based body ACON, targets the group most at risk of contracting HIV - gay men.
The campaign promotes a clear message about how gay men can reduce the spread of HIV through three steps; test more, treat early and stay safe.
It’s been 30 years since the first diagnosis of HIV in NSW. During that time, efforts have been about containing and stabilising HIV transmissions, with considerable success.
The Government’s strategy is now about ending the epidemic and there is a real possibility that HIV transmission in NSW could be virtually eliminated by 2020.
The Premier’s remarks welcoming Bill Gates to NSW can be found here. The campaign can be viewed at http://endinghiv.org.au/. For more information visit ACON.
Image courtesy of ACON