Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae The Governor General, Sir Sir Jerry Mateparae, will be taking part in this Friday's World AIDS Day collection to support people living with HIV and AIDS. Announcing that the NZ AIDS Foundation patron will take a highly visible role in the collection the Foundation's Executive Director said Government House had offered to help. "The Governor-General has always been the Patron of the NZAF, all the way back to Sir Paul Reeves, when the HIV epidemic first came to New Zealand," Shaun Robinson says. "But Sir Jerry is the first one to offer to rattle a bucket and it shows an amazing commitment to the communities we’re serving”. HIV infection in New Zealand is transmitted primarily between gay and bi men, with approximately 80% of those living with HIV being gay or bi. 95 men who have sex with men were newly diagnosed with HIV last year, the highest annual level since the epidemic appeared in the early 1980s. The Governor General will be soliciting donations at an unspecified time on Friday in the downtown Britomart area, his location highlighted by bright red balloons. 'Getting to Zero,' this year's theme of World AIDS Day which is traditionaly marked on December 1st, focuses on three targets: zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero discrimination. The street collection is the cornerstone of "a variety of World AIDS Day events to be held around New Zealand and collections will take place in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru and Invercargill," the NZAF says.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 21st November 2011 - 6:02pm
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