To ask the Minister of State for International Development what action the Department is taking to (a) combat HIV/AIDS and (b) promote sexual health in Southern Africa. 
HIV/AIDS represents a major development challenge in Southern Africa, and is a priority for DFID's funding in the region. Because good sexual health is essential for the prevention of HIV/ AIDS, much of DFID's support for sexual health is now included in our response to HIV/AIDS. DFID has supported major programmes to combat HIV/AIDS and promote sexual health in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition, DFID supports a South African Development Community (SADC) HIV/AIDS programme covering Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. Also DFID has recently approved a programme that will work across Africa to support connections between on-going regional work, and fund some new regional initiatives such as working with Orphans and Vulnerable Children. In addition to direct support for HIV/AIDS programmes, DFID is increasingly mainstreaming efforts to combat HIV/AIDS into all development programmes.
To ask the Minister of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the scale of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. 
Southern Africa is the region worst affected by HIV and AIDS. In its 2002 report, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that 29.4 million people in sub-saharan Africa live with HIV/AIDS, and that 8.8 per cent. of the adult (15–49 years) population is affected.