Belfast Telegraph

Newton: HIV work is urgent

Thandie Newton discusses her charity work in Africa.

The British actress is working with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

And she urges others not to turn a blind eye to those suffering simply because they may not live in a region where the diseases are prevalent.

“This is an urgent situation,” she told UK newspaper The Independent.

“I think because we might not be seeing lots of HIV sufferers in the UK, we can think it isn't a problem. It is a huge problem, but it's also a huge success story in that we're making big advances,” she said.

The star credits big brands with helping to raise awareness and funding for the cause.

While she acknowledges some believe corporate involvement is actually part of the problem, she challenges critics to offer a better solution.

“I’d love to see what they're doing. Rather than focusing on problems, I want to focus on the good things,” Thandie explained.

“They [The Global Fund] realised the public sector was invested, but needed the help of the private sector. RED was created to make that happen... to show big brands their place within the story of humanity.”

Thandie has seen first-hand the difference international financial backing can make in the effort to eradicate disease.

“I went to Ghana to a hospital where they are giving antiretroviral drugs to pregnant women to create an HIV-free generation,” she recalled, championing the Fund’s efforts: “Very often, it's difficult for these companies to know what to do. It takes an organisation like RED and the Global Fund to show them that. Then they're so thrilled to do it.”

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