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THE WORLD

Clinton, Mandela Speak in One Voice About AIDS

July 13, 2002|From Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain — Former President Clinton embraced former South African President Nelson Mandela to wild cheers at the world AIDS conference Friday and declared that the battle against AIDS must be won.

"One hundred million AIDS cases means more terror, more mercenaries, more war, destruction, and the failure of fragile democracies," Clinton said at the close of the 14th International AIDS Conference, the largest since the meetings began in 1985.

The former presidents told 15,000 scientists, care workers and activists that determination and billions of dollars for prevention and treatment programs were needed to halt the global spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"AIDS is a war against humanity," Mandela said.

The disease is claiming more victims "than all wars and natural disasters," Mandela said, and cited the United Nations' warning that 70 million people could die in the next 20 years "unless drastic action is taken."

He called for access to HIV-fighting drugs "for all those that need it, wherever they may be in the world, regardless of whether they can afford it."

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