Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Air Algerie ‘lost contact’ with flight leaving Burkina Faso

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

AIDS battle 'far from over', says Bill Clinton

Latest update : 2008-08-05

In a rousing television broadcast at the international AIDS conference in Mexico City, former US president Clinton urged all participants to continue the fight against the disease while warning that the battle was far from over.


Former US president Bill Clinton delivered a rousing speech to thousands of delegates at a world AIDS conference in Mexico City Monday, but warned that the battle against the disease was far from over.
  
"AIDS is a very big dragon. The mythological dragon was slain by Saint George, the original knight in shining armor, but this dragon must be slain by millions and millions of foot soldiers," he told activists gathered at the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
  
Clinton remained unfazed as a silent crowd of demonstrators holding banners calling for housing for people with HIV walked in front of the podium.
  
He used the moment to underline how rising oil, food prices and the mortgage crisis further complicated the lives of people with HIV, to loud applause.
  
A veteran AIDS campaigner, Clinton echoed warnings from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Peter Piot, executive director of the UN agency UNAIDS, at the opening of the conference on Sunday.
  
There was "no silver bullet" to rid the world of the disease, he said.
  
"We know there is so much yet to be done: to expand prevention, treatment and care, to strengthen undeveloped health systems," he said.
  
More than 22,000 scientists, policymakers and field workers are attending the meeting, making it the second largest conference in the history of the disease, and the largest in a developing country.
  
Funding, access to treatment, beefing up prevention against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and an array of social evils from stigma to violence against women are the headline issues.
  
On the pharmacological front, delegates do not expect any breakthrough announcement in the arena of new drugs, and the news is likely to be grim about the frustrating search for a preventative vaccine and an HIV-thwarting vaginal gel.
  
The UN General Assembly and the Group of Eight (G8) have set the goal of achieving universal access to treatment and therapy by 2010.
  
But despite a big scaleup in the past two years, less than a third of all people in developing countries who need the drugs have been able to access them.
  
"As the fight against AIDS nears the end of its third decade, we are still facing a huge shortfall in resources," Ban warned Monday.
  
Clinton, however, hailed the approval by the US Congress and signing by President George W. Bush last week of legislation tripling funds to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis to 48 billion dollars over five years in the world's poorest countries, mainly in Africa.
  
"This is a stunning development for which we should all be grateful," he said.
  
Clinton, who has championed price cuts for antiretroviral therapy that now keeps three million poor, badly infected people alive, was a star presence at the meeting, also attended by Ban and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, both of whom he praised for speaking out against discrimination.
  
He flew to Mexico City overnight from Africa, where he had been visiting projects funded by the Clinton Foundation to fight AIDS and malaria.
  
"Today 1.4 million people with AIDS are using treatments purchased by the Clinton Foundation," he said. "Thanks to the efforts of our partners, they cost about 120 dollars a year."
  
According to UNAIDS, around 10 billion dollars was spent last year fighting AIDS in poor countries, a massive rise compared with the start of the decade but still more than eight billion dollars short of what was needed.
  
Just to maintain the current pace of drug scaleup means that funding will have to rise by 50 percent by 2010, but this will still be far short of the target of universal access, UNAIDS said in updated report last week.
  
More than 25 million people have died from AIDS since the disease first emerged in 1981, and 33 million people today are living with HIV, two-thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Date created : 2008-08-05

COMMENT(S)