New AIDS centre

PRESIDENT Jorge Sampaio demonstrated his support for AIDS victims in Portugal by inaugurating a new location for the Abraço Association, near the Mercado do Rego, on International Day Against AIDS.

The inauguration is considered an important step for the private institution, which has developed its work since 1992 and now has two activity centres in Lisbon. “It is a constant battle, which grows in demand and hasn’t involved European leaders like it should,” Sampaio commented when referring to the fight against the disease, which nearly 25,000 people in Portugal suffer from. All over the world, there are 37.2 million citizens, between the ages of 15 and 49, who live with HIV/AIDS.

Sampaio took advantage of the occasion to urge the new European Commission, governed by former Prime Minister, Durão Barroso, to “take more effective steps to control this very serious problem”.

The new Abraço centre occupies the ground floor of various residential buildings. Given by the Câmara, this new location will allow the association’s services to be brought together, which, until recently, were scattered.

Also available at the centre are a dining hall, a multi-use auditorium and a fully equipped dental surgery, where people with AIDS are given free assistance.