Carla Bruni-Sarkozy makes a plea on World AIDS Day

French first lady and singer-songwriter, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, lent her considerable star power to the global fight against HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day when she called for action on mother-child HIV transmission rates.


AFP - The Elysee presidential palace for the first time displayed two large red ribbons on its columns Tuesday to mark World AIDS Day, supporting a cause dear to first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

The three-metre long (10 foot) ribbons were hung on the portico of President Nicolas Sarkozy's office and residence as his wife promoted the global campaign against AIDS in several media interviews.

"Every year, there are new HIV infections in France and elsewhere in the world. We must remain mobilised to improve prevention of AIDS and care," said an Elysee statement.

"That is the meaning of the symbol," it added, of the red ribbons.

In another show of French solidarity with people living with HIV and AIDS, the lights were to be switched off for five minutes at the Eiffel Tower at 6:30 pm (1730 GMT).

The Empire State Building and the Brooklyn bridge in New York will also go dark at the same time as part of the "Light for Rights" campaign for more access to AIDS drugs.

Bruni-Sarkozy, who lost her brother Virginio to AIDS three years ago, last year became an ambassador for the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The singer and ex-supermodel has called for more action to eradicate mother-to-child HIV transmission by 2015.

"I am not a doctor, or a scholar, or a politician," she wrote in the daily Le Monde on Monday.

"I am just a woman troubled by the injustice of a world that has the knowledge and the medicine needed to prevent HIV transmission and death from AIDS."


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