Facebook Campaign To Reduce Tax Rate On Condoms To Curb HIV/AIDS

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Members of the European Parliament from the Socialist Groupon Thursday in Brussels launched a campaign on the social networkingWeb site Facebook to cut tax rates on condoms in an effort to curbincreasing HIV/AIDS rates in Europe, the Irish Examinerreports. Hundreds of Facebook users already have joined the group, "CutAIDS, Cut VAT on Condoms," to show their support for the campaign. Thegroup plans to present a petition to government ministers ahead ofWorld AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

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In the European Union, value addedtax rates vary. Ireland has a 21% VAT rate on condoms, which is thehighest in the European Union. The United Kingdom last year reduced VATon condoms from 17.5% to 5%.

Jan Marinus Wiersma, SocialistGroup vice president, said that cutting VAT on condoms would be apractical step to curb HIV/AIDS in Europe and a powerful gesture onWorld AIDS Day. "People power can spur governments to act," he said,adding, "We urge people across Europe to take a few minutes to sign ouronline petition and to join our Facebook group." There were 26,984 newHIV cases in the European Union in 2005, the Examiner reports (Cahill, Irish Examiner, 11/9).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report ispublished for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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