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UN AIDS Chief Says Global Pandemic Still in Early Stages

June 6, 2001

Although more than 22 million people have died of AIDS and 36 million others are infected with HIV, the pandemic is still in the early stages, said the UNAIDS chief Dr. Peter Piot. "When you look particularly at Asia, at Western Africa, at Eastern Europe, it is clear that we are really at the very early phases of the spread of HIV," Piot said in an interview Tuesday.

The face of the disease has changed from that of a gay man or intravenous drug user in the United States to that of millions of African men, women and children. The explosion of AIDS has shown how quickly a disease can spread across the globe. According to Piot, the pandemic has taught the world a lesson in the devastation that can be caused when governments act too slowly.

Piot hopes that the special UN General Assembly meeting on the pandemic scheduled for June 25-27 will produce a detailed declaration of commitment by every country in the UN. Such an agreement, Piot hopes, will commit countries to efforts confronting the complex problems of prevention, drug access, costs associated with caring for the infected, and the enormous problems of poor health care infrastructure in many of the hardest-hit countries. "There's not a lack of ideas, of strategies, of what to do, but there's a lack of cash," Piot said.


Back to other CDC news for June 6, 2001

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Associated Press
06.06.01; Ravi Nessman



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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