Thursday, December 01, 2005

U.N. Envoy Bill Clinton On The AIDS Crisis

"When I left office in 2001, more than 33m people around the world were living with HIV, with 95 per cent of these cases concentrated in developing countries. Since then, despite considerable international effort to combat the problem, that number has grown to more than 40m even as 15m men, women and children have died of Aids. When one takes into account the current HIV/Aids crisis in Africa and the Caribbean, combined with the potential explosion of infections in China, India and eastern Europe and the fact that Aids kills 8,500 people every day, we must redouble our efforts to reverse the tide.

I have reached the point in my life where what matters most to me is that no child or young person should die prematurely from preventable causes. It is the belief that motivates much of the work of my foundation, especially my work through the Clinton HIV/AidsInitiative (CHAI). Every time I meet a child in Lesotho or a mother in rural China or a teenage boy in Kenya – all of whom, once on the brink of death, now glow with the promise of life afforded simply by access to antiretroviral (ARV) medicines – I know we can prevail with will, resources and organised, consistent effort."

Bill Clinton "The fight against a human tragedy has just begun" Financial Times November 30, 2005.

South Africa approved a plan to provide free AIDS treatment by 2005. 5.3 million South Africans, including this malnourished child near Johannesburg, are infected with HIV.

Photo credit: Associated Press via


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