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Bono is in Australia for World AIDS Day on December 1, and has praised the country’s leaders for helping fight HIV globally during the current economic recession.

“Times are hard in the Western world,” he said. "[Health agencies are] fighting hard for funding. In recessionary times, people have to tell their politicians this is important to them.

“Some people think that the pandemic is on its way out and it’s job done… It is really not so.”

Bono joined Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a special World AIDS Day launch in Sydney which saw the Opera House and Harbour Bridge lit up red in recognition of the U2 singer’s (RED) charity.

“I think, generally people like myself, you know, we’re good at raising the alarm, you know and calling the fire brigade,” he said. “You know we’re good at dramatising the situation and pointing out that this awful haemorraging of human life that doesn’t have to be.”

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