Public Opinion on Epidemic Booms as World AIDS Day Dawns
In honor of World AIDS Day, world leaders, organizations, columnists and others are filling the international media with commentary, op-eds and statements. Here is a sample of what some are saying:
- On Nov. 30, President Bill Clinton labeled the AIDS epidemic a "menace to international security" and pledged the United States' commitment to finding a cure. "Because the spread of HIV has reached catastrophic proportions in many areas of our global community, AIDS has become a national and international security threat. We reaffirm our shared commitment to carry on the fight until our battle against this devastating disease is won," Clinton said (Agence France-Presse, 12/1).
- "There is no more important issue for us to consider than AIDS," U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a U.N. press release. While noting the "great success" that has been achieved against the epidemic, he said there is a need for "a constant renewal of the struggle ... even in the richest of countries." With the role of men in HIV prevention a theme of this year's World AIDS Day campaign, Annan said that "AIDS is our problem." Until people "grasp" that notion, he said that they "will be blind" to potential solutions and "powerless to reduce [the] impact" of the disease. "This applies as much to a leader planning the allocation of national resources as it does to a husband planning his future with his wife or father planning for the future of his child," Annan stated. He added, "From the world stage to the most intimate moments, AIDS requires us to open our eyes and not dismiss