- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA (AP) - Guyana says a U.S.-funded AIDS prevention program has helped slash the HIV infection rate in the South American country from nearly 3 percent to about 1 percent.

Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy says the program led by the U.S. Agency for International Development “is a huge success story.”

The $20 million public awareness and prevention program was launched five years ago. Some of the grant aid went to non-governmental organizations that staged skits around the former British territory of 750,000 people to warn of the dangers of promiscuous behavior and the effects of the virus.

Ramsammy said Saturday the government has tracked the decline of the virus by testing nearly half the population over the past three years.

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