Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    One million bells to ring for AIDS

    1/12/2005 12:00 AM

    The State Government has urged Western Australians to remain vigilant about the AIDS virus as one million bells ring all over the world at noon today to mark World AIDS Day.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said Perth would take part in the international event Bell 4 AIDS, with the Swan Bells and the bells at St John’s Anglican Church and St George’s Cathedral ringing to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

    Mr McGinty said the human cost of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) had been enormous.

    “The AIDS epidemic killed more than three million people worldwide last year,” he said.

    “In WA alone, more than 385 people have lost their lives since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began.

    “There are currently more than 900 Western Australians living with the disease.

    “I hope that today’s event will raise awareness of the devastating effects of AIDS and encourage people to support those with the condition.”

    The national theme for the 2005 World AIDS Day campaign will be ‘HIV/AIDS: Let's talk about it’.

    The campaign aims to encourage people to be responsible and vigilant about preventative measures and supportive of people with HIV/AIDS.

    Mr McGinty said HIV notifications had remained stable in WA over the past five years, with 48 new cases of HIV and 10 cases of AIDS diagnosed in 2004.

    “WA has been at the forefront of AIDS awareness strategies that have helped educate people to prevent the transmission of HIV,” he said.

    “With no known cure for HIV/AIDS, prevention is the best tool in the fight against this deadly disease.”

    For more information visit http://www.worldaidsday.org.au/ or http://www.bells4aids.org/.

    Minister's office: 9220 5000