Speaking at Abuja AIDS Conference, Clinton Says AIDS Can be ‘Curtailed’
Speaking at the opening session of the Abuja AIDS conference yesterday, former President Bill Clinton said that the AIDS pandemic could be "severely curtailed with proper steps," Agence France-Presse reports. Clinton said that HIV/AIDS is "100% preventable" with the use of proper prevention methods and asked African leaders to help end the "stigma of AIDS." He pointed to Uganda, which has halved HIV infection rates, and Kenya, which he said has "stopped [AIDS] right in its tracks," as examples of "African success stories" in the fight against the disease. A more concerted effort against the disease in Africa is needed "not simply to save your own people," Clinton told African leaders, "but to show the rest of the world how to save theirs." AIDS is "not Africa's problem alone. Today, Africa is the epicenter of the epidemic but tomorrow it could be India, China or even Russia," he added (Agence France-Presse, 4/26). Receiving "some of the loudest applause" of any speaker, Clinton told conferees that the United Nations' estimates of 40 million AIDS orphans by 2010 "should stun Americans, considering that number equals '80% of children in schools in'" the United States (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 4/27). Clinton concluded by urging African leaders to determine the amount of antiretroviral drugs that their health programs would need and to "estimate the amount of money they could pay up front, as well as the sum they needed in aid" to combat the epidemic (Agence France-Presse, 4/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.