In a July 7 Guardian opinion piece, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, called on G8 leaders meeting last week in L’Aquila, Italy, to stay focused on HIV/AIDS despite the turbulent global economy. Bruni-Sarkozy is a global ambassador for HIV prevention for women and children with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“I am especially concerned about women and children, because in most parts of the world, they tend to come last in line,” she wrote. “Although we still have a long way to go to protect mothers and children from HIV, effective AIDS treatment has enabled over half a million mothers to avoid transmitting HIV to their children.”

She said that more than 300,000 children, mostly in Africa, are still diagnosed with HIV every year at or after birth. According to the ambassador, these incidents are avoidable, especially when cheap and effective ways to prevent mother to child HIV transmission are available.

“I hope they will celebrate their achievements by expanding their investment in saving lives and reducing inequalities. It is not only possible—it is happening, it works and there is much more still to do.”