Originally created 11/11/05

Ashley Judd participates in forum on HIV, AIDS



SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - Ashley Judd has come to this Central American capital to join 3,000 Latin American politicians, police chiefs, doctors and activists in a regional forum on HIV.

Judd, who has been the ambassador of U.S.-based project Youth AIDS since 2002, on Wednesday met briefly with Salvadorian Foreign Minister Francisco Lainez, who thanked her for her visit.

"She can raise interest among the public and politicians about the need to increase efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS," Lainez said.

AIDS activists hope Latin American governments will sign commitments by the end of the conference on Friday to make medicine more easily available to HIV sufferers.

"We hope that (presidents) fulfill their promises," said Ordi Miranda, director of "Atlacatl," a Salvadoran foundation for HIV sufferers.

More than 40 million people around the world have HIV, including more than 1.7 million Latin Americans, according to the United Nations.

On the Net:

http://www.youthaids.org