South African First HIV-Positive Person to Speak at U.N. General Assembly
June 1, 2006
In remarks at the opening session of the 2006 High Level Meeting on AIDS, Khensani Mavasa of South Africa became the first person living with HIV to address the UN General Assembly. "I call on African leaders sitting here to protect and promote the human rights of all people in vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls," said Masava, who wore a blue and white T-shirt with the words "HIV Positive." "We ask that you do not fail us yet again," she said. At the meeting, delegates are considering a blueprint for reaching universal access to treatment and prevention by 2010. "Your big task now is making sure that this is not a document of empty promises, not a mere restatement of principle, but a platform for target-based action," she reminded them. "I ask that as you deliberate over the next two days, you'll be guided by the pain and hope which sits in our hearts as people of the world."
Agence France Presse