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Smallest Nation Gets Help in Fighting AIDS

Biblica brings its Reach 4 Life program to Suriname to help at-risk teens avoid HIV infection and make positive life choices

Contact: Lynn Waalkes, Biblica, 719-867-2626

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- Although Suriname is the smallest nation in South America, it's dealing with a global-sized problem. As much as 5 percent of the population of the former Dutch colony is HIV-infected.

"This percentage is like a time bomb," said Biblica Netherlands Director Jan Otter. "Experience in other countries has shown that the percentage can quickly rise to 15 percent or higher. For Suriname, with a total population of 490,000, this would be a disaster."

To combat AIDS, Biblica Netherlands launched its Reach 4 Life HIV/AIDS prevention program in Suriname on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day. Edwin Wolf, Suriname's Minister for Education and Human Development, received the first copy of the Reach 4 Life (R4L) New Testament that serves as the program's textbook. He plans to implement the program throughout Suriname's school system.

Biblica is partnering with Feed My Lambs Foundation and the Suriname Bible Society to provide Suriname with 20,000 copies of the R4L New Testament. Nearly 200 pastors, youth workers, and other volunteers across denominations have been trained to start and lead Reach 4 Life groups.

Reach 4 Life helps youth learn healthy, biblically based ways to make wise life choices and avoid HIV infection. Teens meet weekly in groups to discuss information in Biblica's brightly colored, teen-oriented Reach 4 Life New Testament on relationships, sexually transmitted diseases, and more.

The Reach 4 Life New Testament includes first-person stories of lives affected by HIV, 40 Bible studies, and frank discussions of sex, relationships, and life choices.

Since its inception in 2004, the Reach 4 Life program has spread to 17 nations, and more than 1 million Reach 4 Life New Testaments have been distributed. Currently the New Testament is available in five languages, including Dutch--Suriname's official language.

Learn more about Reach 4 Life at www.Biblica.com/R4L-HIV.

About Biblica (formerly International Bible Society)
Biblica's vision is to transform lives through God's Word by translating, producing, and distributing Bibles, Scripture materials, and other Christian resources through ministry, distribution, and retail channels so people around the world may become disciples of Jesus Christ. Biblica operates in 50 countries and is the sponsor and copyright holder of the New International Version® family of contemporary-English Bible translations. For more information, visit
www.Biblica.com.