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Commission supports ten new AIDS-related projects

Mr Padraig Flynn, Commissioner for Social Affairs, has announced that ten aids-related projects have been selected following a competitive call for tenders and that Commission funding for these projects will amount to about ECU 1.3 million during 1994-95. These projects will c...
Mr Padraig Flynn, Commissioner for Social Affairs, has announced that ten aids-related projects have been selected following a competitive call for tenders and that Commission funding for these projects will amount to about ECU 1.3 million during 1994-95. These projects will complement the educational and preventive activities already being carried out under the "Europe against AIDS" programme and will strengthen the Community's efforts to combat the disease.

The ten projects which have been selected for funding fall into the following categories:

- Assessing the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of the public and target groups:
Two projects have been selected in this area. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK) will carry out a survey of existing data in relation to the general public in the EU. This will be complemented by a survey of data on key target groups, such as drug abusers and homosexual men, to be undertaken by the University of Limerick (Ireland).

- Increasing the awareness of the general public and certain target groups:
Two projects have been selected in this area. The Universities of England Consortium for International Activities (UNECIA) will undertake a review of the information campaigns already undertaken in the Member States and the evidence of their effectiveness. This will lead on to an examination of the feasibility of Community campaigns such as the development of a European Code on AIDS prevention.
The Reseau National de Sante Publique in France, in collaboration with Monde Medicale in Belgium, will undertake an innovative pilot project to circulate AIDS information electronically to both general practitioners and pharmacists. This may serve to improve the provision of information and advice to patients.

- Health Education for young people:
Health Promotion Wales (UK,) in collaboration with the Danish Research Centre for Environmental and Health Education, will establish a network of organizations in the Member States to exchange experience of AIDS education in schools and to draw up proposals on good practice. Also in this area the Instituto Superiore di Santa (Italy) will organize a major international conference in October 1995 in Rome to discuss AIDS education in schools.

- Social support and counselling:
Telephone helplines can make a valuable contribution in providing advice and assistance to those worried about HIV and AIDS. Health Promotion Wales (UK), in collaboration with Bielefeld University (Germany) will carry out a survey of Community AIDS helplines to assess their effectiveness and how they publicise the service provided and deal with safeguarding confidentiality. SIDA Info Service (France) will arrange seminars involving AIDS helplines in order to exchange experience and develop ideas for improving and extending services.

- Resource aspects.
The University of Nottingham, in collaboration with the Danish Hospital Institute, will consider the implications of the AIDS epidemic for Member States in terms of financial and human resources. The Universities of England Consortium for International Activities (UNECIA) will undertake a review of the training offered to health professionals in the EU and make suggestions on how it can be improved.

A sum of ECU 9 million has been provided in the 1994 budget to finance activities under the "Europe against AIDS" programme and a similar amount is being proposed for next year in the 1995 draft budget.

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