Libyan leader Mu'ammar Gadhafi, speaking Saturday at the closing of an AIDS summit in Africa, delivered an impromptu 45-minute speech on Saturday calling AIDS a gay disease and saying, "If you are straight, you have nothing to fear from AIDS." He also said he believes the West is deliberately trying to create AIDS-related fear throughout Africa in an effort to sell expensive antiretroviral drugs in the continent. "They say AIDS came from monkeys in Africa, but monkeys have been in Africa for hundreds of centuries," he said. "They only say this to sell medicines."
Gadhafi and 40 other African leaders were meeting in Mozambique for an eight-day summit that focused on several issues affecting the continent, including AIDS. The leaders issued a draft declaration calling on all African nations to improve coordination with each other and to work more closely with agencies in each country in the fight against AIDS. The declaration also called for at least $3 billion annually in international aid to help fight the spread of the disease and to care for those infected with the virus, which they say should be channeled through the United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.