“There is an urgent need to speak up for people living with HIV/AIDS and help them have children who are free of HIV. Having lost my brother to AIDS, I am committed to all causes aimed at its prevention,'' said French First Lady Carla Bruni during her visit to the Safdarjung Hospital here on Monday.

“It is important to prevent AIDS. It is an issue close to me. My being in this position [French First Lady] and being popular with the people helps me to speak about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, and what steps need to be taken to counter it,” she added.

Visits wards

At the Hospital, the First Lady was taken around the wards where medical services for preventing parent-to-child HIV transmission integrated with general patient care and maternal health is provided by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO).

Ms. Bruni met HIV positive women and observed how the hospital's paediatric and maternity wings dealt with antenatal care (the systemic medical supervision of women during pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS care).

Patients' courage

Ms. Bruni appreciated the “courage” shown by the patients there. “It is very courageous. She will have a healthy baby. She is very courageous to do that,'' Ms. Bruni told doctors after interacting with a migrant labourer's wife from Uttarakhand, who was found to be HIV positive during her pre-natal tests.

Ms. Bruni also visited NAZ Foundation Trust, a non-government organisation working on HIV/AIDS and sexual health, later in the afternoon.

Ms. Bruni is the ambassador for Geneva-based Global Fund that invests in fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

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