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David Beckham highlights progress made on HIV issue in Cape Town


December 15, 2009/11.24

During a visit to South Africa last week, footballer David Beckham went to a UNICEF-supported clinic in Khayelitsha Township, Cape Town, where he met and spoke to pregnant young women and new mothers who are living with HIV. As an ambassador for UNICEF, Beckham wanted to highlight the progress that has been made around the world preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
   UNICEF released the below videos of Beckham’s visit today.
   The Mothers2Mothers (M2M) programme, supported by UNICEF, helps educate pregnant women and new mothers on preventing HIV transmission to their babies.
   Beckham was introduced to the programme by Dr Mitch Besser, the founder of M2M.
   He met Tamara, 25, a mother living with HIV, who received treatment at the centre and now supports other young women in similar circumstances. Thanks to the testing, counselling and medication she received there, her son Sesiphi, now three, was born free from HIV.
   Almost every minute of every day, a baby is born with HIV somewhere in the world, passed on by his or her mother during pregnancy or labour and delivery. The great tragedy is that with simple inexpensive treatments, mother-to-child transmission of HIV is almost entirely preventable.
   In South Africa, progress is particularly evident, with 74 per cent of mothers who need treatment now receiving it for themselves and their babies, compared to 15 per cent in 2004.

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Filed by Lucire staff

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