Monday 22 December 2014

Geldof plea over funding for AIDS cure

Published 25/07/2014 | 02:30

Rock singer and poverty activist Bob Geldof gestures as he addresses the 2014 AIDS Conference in Melbourne on July 24, 2014.
Rock singer and poverty activist Bob Geldof gestures as he addresses the 2014 AIDS Conference in Melbourne on July 24, 2014.
Peaches Geldof. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

ANTI-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof has hit out at a global reluctance to fund the "last mile" towards a cure for AIDS.

The Dublin-born Live Aid campaigner delivered a rousing speech to an international conference just hours after an inquest in the UK found his daughter Peaches (25) had struggled with heroin addiction which finally claimed her life.

Geldof has spoken of the "intolerable" pain he has felt since the mother of two was found dead in April in the spare bedroom of her home in Kent, with her 11-month-old son Phaedra in another room.

A syringe filled with a residue of heroin was found in a sweet box by the side of the bed, while burnt spoons and needles were found throughout the home, the inquest heard.

Her father was at the conference on the other side of the world in Australia, where he said it was "staggeringly brilliant" that for the first time in history the world was nearing the elimination of the lethal global pandemic.

Geldof said: "The scandal underlying all of this is the preposterous reluctance to fund the last mile. That is what is still disgraceful."

He was speaking at the 20th International AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne. Several delegates who were due to attend the event died in the Malaysia Airlines tragedy.

Irish Independent

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