Clinton Urges United States to Allocate $2.4B Annually for International HIV/AIDS Efforts
Former President Clinton yesterday urged the United States to contribute $2.4 billion annually to the international fight against HIV/AIDS, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has estimated that $10 billion is needed each year to "reverse" the world's HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2015. Speaking at the Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS's 2002 awards dinner, Clinton said that the number of worldwide HIV cases was "on the verge" of increasing to 100 million from 40 million -- a growth the world "can't afford" -- and predicted that the disease, which is spreading most quickly in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the Caribbean and India, will "slice through India like a hot knife through butter." Clinton presented outgoing GBC Chair William Roedy, president of MTV Networks International, with an award for individual business leadership with regard to HIV/AIDS issues. MTV and its affiliates have aired several HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. Annan presented the award for business excellence to DaimlerChrysler AG for the company's South African HIV/AIDS program, which provides access to AIDS medications for HIV-positive employees.
Demonstrators Seek Treatment Expansion From Coca-Cola
Members of ACT UP/New York and the Health GAP Coalition demonstrated outside of the awards gala, which took place at New York City's Chelsea Piers complex, to protest Coca-Cola's policy of only providing HIV/AIDS health coverage to its 1,500 direct employees in Africa. The groups want Coca-Cola to expand health coverage to people employed under its licensing agreements. "What we've been asked to do is provide treatment to the independent businesses we work with across the continent. ... The reality is this is not possible," Robert Lindsay, vice president for public affairs of Coca-Cola Africa, said (Lederer, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 6/13).