Bangladesh gets U.N. award for AIDS prevention

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BangladaeshA Bangladeshi women's group was awarded a cash prize of $20,000 on Monday for its work in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said.

The "Durjoy Nari Shongo" (indomitable women's council) shared the UNDP's "Red Ribbon" 2006 award with four other groups in Ukraine, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The Bangladeshi group distributes condoms, gives information about AIDS to sex workers and provides for the education of their children.

"The Red Ribbon Award is a great opportunity to bring communities together that has fought this disease," a UNDP statement quoted its administrator Kemal Dervis as saying.

"Sometimes they work in extremely difficult situations, in contexts of war and extreme poverty, and yet they have found ways despite these obstacles to make things happen, to generate some real success on the ground," Dervis said.

Mainly Muslim Bangladesh has so far had 7,500 confirmed cases of AIDS/HIV. But health officials said the impoverished country of 140 million people remained at threat from the disease, especially with neighboring India recording the world's highest number of cases.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters