The Race Against Death Continues | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.06.2002
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The Race Against Death Continues

Germany's AIDS-Foundation has been helping victims of HIV and AIDS for 15 years. On Tuesday the organization published the latest data on the spread of the deadly disease in Germany.


Last year, some 700 people died of AIDS in Germany

Every year, an estimated 2000 people in Germany contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The disease first surfaced here in the mid 1980s. Since then, it's taken the lives of some 19,000 people in Germany.

For the past 15 years, Germany's AIDS-Foundation has been one of the organizations that helps HIV and AIDS patients. Its main focus is giving financial aid to those who are needy. Since 1987 the foundation has raised 16.5 million euro ($ 15.6 million) to support the victims of the disease in Germany.

Ulrich Heide, a member of the board of Germany's AIDS foundation on Tuesday said that the work of the organization has changed considerably in the last 15 years. "The first years were basically a race against death. Today, people affected by the immune deficiency often live in poverty for many years," Heide said.

Heide explained that medical advances had prolonged the lives of many patients – but their financial situation hadn't improved. "Over the years that they'll live with the disease, they'll repeatedly need help from the AIDS-Foundation," Heide added.

Last year, 4380 people applied for financial aid from the German AIDS-Foundation – a slight decrease from the year before. The applicants received a total of 2.5 million euro ($ 2.36 million), most of which was generated through AIDS benefits.

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