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Funerals, Prayers and Hope Mark World AIDS Day Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by brebreebrer, Cyprus Dec 1, 2002
Health   Opinions


Officials point to some hopeful signs, including some successful AIDS awareness campaigns in Africa and moves by drug companies to slash the price of anti-AIDS drugs.

But treatment, even when it is available, is always going to be the most expensive option.

UNAIDS calculates that by 2007 the world will have to find about $15 billion a year to treat and combat AIDS in low and middle income countries -- but contributions to the new Global Fund designed to spearhead anti-AIDS work are lagging.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who heads an international anti-AIDS group with former South African President Nelson Mandela, said governments must push drug companies to provide medicines at discount prices and allow poor countries to buy generic drugs.

"Given that medicine can turn AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic illness and reduce mother-to-child transmission, our withholding of treatment will appear to future historians as medieval, like bloodletting," he wrote in The New York Times.

Mandela said the fear and stigma associated with the disease was almost as damaging as the epidemic itself.

"Many who suffer from HIV and AIDS are not killed by the virus, but by stigma," Mandela said at a World AIDS Day appearance in the city of Bloemfontein.

"You have to sympathize with them. It is your duty to be human. Do not stigmatize people with AIDS. Show them care, support and, above all, love," Mandela said.

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