Head of U.S. Conference of Mayors Urges Action on AIDS
September 9, 2003
Returning from a two-week visit to Africa, James Garner, the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, urged the world's mayors to unite to help fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa.Adapted from:
Garner spoke Monday about the trip, on which he joined nine other U.S. mayors to visit South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Uganda. Garner, the mayor of the Long Island village of Hempstead, N.Y., said he hopes to convene a task force of mayors who can establish ties with their counterparts in African cities to help fight HIV/AIDS, perhaps under the auspices of the UN.
"Through dialogue, we can examine opportunities that can be mutually beneficial," Garner said. "We must educate our citizenry about prevention and treatment. It doesn't matter if it's in an African city or here in Hempstead," he said. "You can read all you want about the problem of AIDS in Africa, but until you go there and look in the eyes of children who have no parents because they died of AIDS, you really have no idea," said Garner. "I looked at these children, and I wanted to take one of them home with me."
Thirty million of the world's 42 million people with AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan group of the chief elected officials from the country's nearly 1,200 cities with populations of 30,000 or more.
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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