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secretary-general salutes progress in global AIDS fight

secretary-general salutes progress in global AIDS fight

Annan says the world has made great strides in fighting AIDS, but more work needs to be done.

United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan released a press statement Monday to mark World AIDS Day on December 1 that reminds people around the globe that more work needs to be done to help prevent HIV infections and treat HIV-positive people but also acknowledges the huge strides made in fighting the disease.

"In the course of the past decade, the world has made considerable progress in the fight against AIDS," Annan writes. "It has also made considerable promises. The time has come to keep them. And I believe we can."

Annan says that governments and organizations around the world are contributing about $8 billion a year to fight AIDS in poor nations, up from just $300 million annually a decade ago. "We see new signs of progress in almost every region of the world," he writes. "We have real evidence that AIDS is a problem with a solution. We have a clear plan of action to halt and reverse the spread of AIDS."

But Annan says World AIDS Day is a perfect time to not only reflect on successes in combating HIV but also focus on the work that still needs to be done. "This is a time to concentrate our minds. It is a time to recognize that although our response so far has succeeded in some of the particulars, it has yet to match the epidemic in scale," Annan writes. "It is a time to admit that if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of AIDS by 2015, then we must do far, far more. That mission concerns every one of us. On this World AIDS Day, I ask all of you to join me in that mission." (

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