Kaisernetwork.org Update From the XIV International AIDS Conference, July 12
The XIV International AIDS Conference ended with stirring calls for courage, commitment, and patience from two former presidents, Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela, co-chairs of the International AIDS Trust. Clinton called AIDS a threat to the world's economic well-being. He said it was the job of the rich nations to live up to their promise to contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria. He called on poor nations to strike deals with drug companies for lower prices on drugs. And he called on heads of governments to lead the fight against discrimination and stigma. Nelson Mandela said there were many issues he could discuss concerning HIV/AIDS, but the one he chose was the plight of AIDS orphans. He called their increasing number an assault on humanity. He said everyone who needs treatment should get it no matter their ability to pay. Doing so, he said, gives children a better chance for development because their HIV infected parents will live longer. Mandela also called for stronger leadership from world leaders, many of whom have remained silent on the epidemic. When you remain silent, said Mandela, you sign your own death warrant. Finally, he challenged activists to correct their own mistakes. Recalling his fight against apartheid, Mandela said criticism only works if you are willing to engage those you criticize.
This report is also available online in Real Audio or Windows Media.