UN Chief Urges Kazakhstan to Fight Spread of HIV/AIDS
October 21, 2002
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday warned Kazakhstan to take serious measures to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. "Don't think that Kazakhstan is exempt from this terrible disease," Annan told Kazakh deputies through an interpreter in the capital Astana during his 12-day tour of eastern and central Asia. "It is necessary to learn from the experience of other countries and approve a complex national program directed at prevention before it turns into a serious national problem," he said. Kazakhstan and other ex-Soviet Central Asian states have seen a sharp rise in the number of cases of HIV/AIDS, particularly as the number of intravenous drug users increases. Regional officials have warned that HIV infections could reach epidemic proportions in Central Asia, which has become a major trafficking route for heroin and opium from Afghanistan. Work should be done at the source of the problem, namely Afghanistan, to halt the cultivation of drugs and provide farmers with an alternative means of survival, said Annan.
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.