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Former Soviet States Must Move To Confront Hiv

Former Soviet States Must Move Speedily To Confront Hiv/Aids - Annan

With 1.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) of former Soviet nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a coordinated response from all sectors of society and leadership at every level are vital to combat the scourge, United Nations Secretary-General told a regional meeting today.

“How the CIS region deals with this challenge will determine not only the size of the epidemic, but whether you will be able to prevent all the other destruction that AIDS causes,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the ministerial meeting in Moscow on Urgent Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemics.

“We know from our experience elsewhere that the spread can be turned back. But it cannot be done piecemeal,” he added, pledging the UN’s readiness to assist in any way it can.

“There is no time to lose if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halting, and beginning to reverse, the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015,” he said, referring to one of the targets set by the UN Millennium Summit of 2000 seeking to curb a series of social and economic ills by that year. “I look to every one of you as an ally in that struggle.”

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