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2005-09-18-Hopeful But Not Yet Optimistic About Curbing HIV/AIDS Pandemic
The HIV/AIDS pandemic can be reversed because world leaders have a greater awareness of the disease and more funding is being funneled into the fight against it,... UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said this week ahead of the U.N. 2005 World Summit in New York, BMJ reports.
"I'm hopeful but not yet optimistic," Piot said, adding, "We have the political will to reverse the epidemic." He cited the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a five-year, $15 billion program proposed by President Bush that directs funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria primarily to 15 focus countries and provides funding to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- as a step in the right direction.
"When global leaders meet, AIDS is on the agenda," he said, adding, "Heads of government or their deputies are leaders (against AIDS) in about 40 countries. ... They can be a link between the civil society and the state -- a link that is often missing" (Hopkins Tanne, BMJ, 9/17).