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International News

HHS Secretary Thompson While in Zambia on World AIDS Day Says World is "Losing War" Against HIV/AIDS

December 2, 2003

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who was in Zambia on Monday to mark World AIDS Day, said that the world is "losing th[e] war" on HIV/AIDS, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/2). Thompson and a U.S. delegation of lawmakers, business people and religious groups traveled to Africa to examine projects aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS. The U.S. delegation -- which is also scheduled to travel to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda -- includes Randall Tobias, coordinator of the five-year, $15 billion U.S. global AIDS initiative, and Richard Holbrooke, president of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/26). The 80-person delegation was also scheduled to include UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem, CDC Director Julie Gerberding, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci (HHS release, 12/1). While in Zambia, Thompson met with government officials and signed an agreement that will provide the country with $2.5 million for AIDS prevention and care over the next five years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Marchione, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/1).

World AIDS Day Statements
On World AIDS Day, Thompson said, "We appear to be losing the fight against AIDS at the moment. We need to redouble our efforts," adding, "This war has more casualties than any other war as we are losing three million people every year" (Pugh, Knight Ridder/Contra Costa Times, 12/2). He said, "I implore the business community especially to make it possible to garner more resources to help fight this war. The U.S. will take the fight against this war to every corner of the world." Tobias said that the Bush administration plans to "provide care for 10 million people and provide drugs to two million people as we expand the fight against HIV and AIDS" (Shacinda, Reuters, 12/1). Zambian Health Minister Brian Chituwo said that although recent U.S. efforts -- including Thompson's visit to Africa and Bush's global AIDS initiative -- have been "historic," more is needed to combat the epidemic in Zambia and Africa, according to the Journal Sentinel. He said, "This kind of meeting gives us resolve that we are not alone in the fight against HIV. What we are looking for now is action" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/1). Former South African President Nelson Mandela said that HIV/AIDS stigma is keeping people from being tested and seeking treatment, adding, "That is a tragic mistake because when you do that, you make the people that are suffering feel like they are not human beings. Many will die because of feeling less than human" (Tomlinson, AP/Columbia State, 12/1).

World AIDS Day Multimedia Coverage

  • ABCNews' "World News Tonight": The segment examines HIV/AIDS in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States and includes comments from U.N. Development Programme Administrator Mark Malloch Brown and Dr. David Ho, director and CEO of the New York City-based Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (Jennings, "World News Tonight," ABCNews, 12/1).


  • NPR's "All Things Considered": The segment profiles a day in the life of Sister Agnes Ramashiga, an HIV/AIDS nurse and counselor at a hospital in the South African township of Soweto (Johnson/Richman, "All Things Considered," NPR, 12/1). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.

  • NPR's "All Things Considered": The segment reports on religious and humanitarian organizations working to help AIDS orphans in China (Gifford, "All Things Considered," NPR, 12/1). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.

  • NPR's "Day to Day": NPR's Alex Chadwick interviews Desmond Johns, director of the U.N. AIDS Liaison office, about the international community's progress in fighting HIV/AIDS (Chadwick, "Day to Day," NPR, 12/1). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.

  • NPR's "Day to Day": The segment, produced by Joe Plotts of the HearingVoices project, presents a collection of interviews with HIV-positive women in the Seattle area ("Day to Day," NPR, 12/1). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.

  • NPR's "Tavis Smiley Show": HIV-positive women should continue to "seize opportunities" and develop their lives, Michelle Lopez, an advocate for women and children with HIV/AIDS and contributor to the monthly HIV/AIDS magazine POZ, says in a commentary on the program (Lopez, "Tavis Smiley Show," NPR, 12/1). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.

  • NPR's "Tavis Smiley Show": NPR's Tavis Smiley interviews Dr. Earnest Darkoh, a physician who oversees Botswana's antiretroviral treatment program; Deneen Robinson, advocacy relations manager at Abbott Laboratories; and Phil Wilson, executive director of the African-American AIDS Policy and Training Institute (Smiley, "Tavis Smiley Show," NPR, 12/1). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.

  • PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer": The segment includes comments from Stephen Lewis, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa; Josh Ruxin, a professor of public health at Columbia University and coordinator for the U.N. Millennial Task Force on HIV/AIDS; and Debrework Zewdie, director of the global HIV/AIDS program at the World Bank (Dentzer/Ifill, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 12/1). A transcript of the segment is available online. The full segment is available online in RealPlayer. In addition, in the first of a series of live, online discussions with Bank experts, Zewdie participated Monday in an online chat about HIV/AIDS and development.

  • PRI's "The World": The segment discusses condom use and HIV/AIDS education with residents of Brazil, Malawi and Zambia and includes comments from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (Kahn, "The World," PRI, 12/1). The full segment is available online in Windows Media.

  • PRI's "The World": Host Tony Kahn interviews Thompson about the fight against HIV/AIDS (Kahn, "The World," PRI, 12/1). The full segment is available online in Windows Media.

Online Additional information on World AIDS Day -- including webcasts; access to studies and key facts; and links to resources and organizations around the world -- can be found online on

Back to other news for December 2, 2003

Reprinted with permission from You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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