Kaisernetwork.org Update From the XIV International AIDS Conference, July 11
During the fourth day of the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, former President Bill Clinton took part in a young person's forum on HIV sponsored by the music television network MTV, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Family Health International. Clinton said, "AIDS has become a young person's problem that is global in nature." He said currently the U.S. is spending $800 million on HIV, and called for an increase to $2.5 billion. Approximately 30 teenagers questioned a panel of AIDS experts that among others included religious leaders and pharmaceutical representatives. The forum, called "Staying Alive," will be broadcast worldwide on MTV after the conference ends. The last full day of plenary talks began with Dr. Paul Farmer from Harvard University. He operates an AIDS clinic in Haiti and showed the delegates how AIDS drugs can be effectively administered in a resource-poor area. Dr. Julio Frenk, the Health Minister of Mexico, made the case for more investment in the fight against HIV by all countries. Dr. Paolo Teixeira, the director of the AIDS program in Brazil, explained his country's longstanding program of free and universal distribution of anti-retroviral drugs. He cited statistics to show that the program has stemmed the tide of HIV in Brazil to a point where the infection rate is now declining. Graca Machel, educator, child advocate, and the wife of Nelson Mandela, also spoke. She challenged the delegates to be as aggressive against HIV as the virus is against society. She criticized governments, advocates, and private sector businesses for not doing enough. In her words, the lack of effort devalued human life.
This report is also available online in Real Audio or Windows Media.