Frist honored for his AIDS work in Africa
The Washington Post
By Larry Bivins

WASHINGTON D.C — A Washington-based group promoting democracy worldwide will salute Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist for his humanitarian work in Africa and public service in America.

Frist, 50, is one of two honorees who will receive 2003 Freedom Awards from the International Republican Institute at a Feb. 27 dinner. The other recipient will be Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan’s interim government.

The institute conducts programs to aid activists in 30 countries to advance democratic principles and strengthen free markets.

George Folsom, president of the nonprofit, nonpartisan institute, said the Tennessee senator was chosen particularly for his fight against AIDS in Africa. The Republican leader and physician has traveled frequently to the continent as a medical missionary, treating AIDS patients in the Sudan.

Last year, he visited the Sudan, Uganda and Kenya to witness the start of a program to reduce mother-to-child transmission of AIDS and the virus that causes the disease. Frist and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., are co-sponsors of legislation to increase the U.S. contribution to the global AIDS fund.

“Senator Frist is a remarkable role model for the kind of volunteer we seek for IRI projects abroad: a person of great achievement who gives of himself to assist people hoping for a better life,” Folsom said. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the institute, said Frist was deserving as both a doctor and a public servant. “His compassion brings a new perspective to the position of Senate majority leader that will be invaluable in many ways,” he said.

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