The battle in the developing world
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THE BATTLE against HIV/AIDS received a welcome boost this year with the Declaration of Commitment signed by attendees at the United Nations General Assembly's Special Session on HIV/AIDS. And by the initiation of the Global Health and AIDS Fund, called for by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. While such efforts must be applauded, more will be required in the months and years to come as the world community works to slow down and ultimately halt the spread of the virus. Because, while grand declarations such as these are fine, it will be hundreds of smaller steps in nations and neighbourhoods, clinics and communities, schools and social gatherings, that ultimately will turn the tide against HIV/AIDS. We hear analogies meant to help us grasp the magnitude of the virus' toll. For instance, that the number of AIDS deaths is equal to a Titanic-size ship sinking weekly. Yet, such illustrations also can seem overwhelming. Given such odds, is there really any hope? There is, of course. Taking the analogy of a ship a step further, a vessel as small as a tugboat is all that's required to turn it around. Sure, it takes time and effort. But it can be done. UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland and others on the front lines in the struggle against HIV/AIDS remind us in this edition of Global Future that, while the battles ahead may be daunting, we must press ahead and confront them. While it may take years, even generations, to get this ship turned around, we have no choice but to take steps - globally and locally - to make every effort to do so. Our lives, and the future of our children, depend on it.
- The world's deadliest epidemic: 20 years and counting - UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot takes a look at the struggle so far and outlines steps to take in the decades ahead.
- A global crisis calls for global action - World Health Organisation Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland emphasises the need for equal access to prevention and treatment.
- A call for commitment - European Commissioner Poul Nielson on Europe's response.
- AIDS: A global leadership and solidarity challenge - UNDP Executive Director Mark Malloch Brown calls for strategic planning, as well as strengthening of delivery systems worldwide.
- Uganda's ongoing struggle against the virus - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni discusses his country's struggles.
- A call for partnership
- Malawi under the shadow of death
- Reaching the front lines
- Prevention or care?
- HIV/AIDS in the Mekong
- Many South Africans in denial
- Rwandan AIDS widows