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Since the AIDS epidemic began two decades ago, 60 million people have been infected with HIV. The toll is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where life expectancy has dropped to 47 from 62 years. Two million people died of AIDS in Africa last year. The fight for survival for millions of others depends on us.

In April 2001, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan established the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. He asked the world nations to provide $10 billion annually. Today, a little more than $3 billion has been committed by governments far less than the more than $100 billion raised in a few months to fight the war against terrorism following the killing of 3,000 people in New York on September 11th.

Join us in urging Prime Minister Jean Chrt0069en to have Canada do our part and pay up. Canada has given just $37.5 million of the $150 million we have been asked to contribute to the Global Fund. By paying up and speaking out, Canada can show leadership to other nations.

Visit cupe.ca and send an e-mail letter to the Prime Minister. Look for the AIDS materials recently mailed to all CUPE locals. The materials include a sample letter to Chrt0069en, an action sheet outlining things your CUPE local can do on December 1st World AIDS Day, and a 24-minute video.

The video features Stephen Lewis speaking about AIDS to delegates at September’s Public Services International Congress held in Ottawa. Lewis, the United Nations’ Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, eloquently and passionately outlines the devastation HIV/AIDS is causing.

Send your letter to the Prime Minister today and join the fight against AIDS. And wear a red ribbon this December 1st demonstrating your support for both the issue and for co-workers and people in our communities living with HIV/AIDS.