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The BBC's Bill Hayton
"The summit could mark a new beginning in the battle against the virus"
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The BBC's Barnaby Phillips in Abuja
"Kofi Annan has called for a social revolution in Africa"
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Thursday, 26 April, 2001, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Annan declares war on Aids
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan addresses an Aids conference
Mr Annan said the fight against Aids required money
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for a global multi-million dollar fund to be set up to halt and reverse the spread of Aids in Africa.


The war on Aids will not be won without a war chest, of a size far beyond what is available so far

Kofi Annan
Mr Annan is the keynote speaker at a summit on Aids in Africa in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Mr Annan said that between $7bn and $10bn are needed for the fight against Aids to be effective.

"We need money. The war on Aids will not be won without a war chest, of a size far beyond what is available so far," he said.

A generation of potentially productive young adults may be decimated, making Aids Africa's biggest development challenge, Mr Annan said.

"And that is why I have made the battle against it my personal priority," he said.

Declaration

He also said that Africans must stop being embarrassed about Aids so that social attitudes can start changing.

Aids patient
More than 24m people in Africa are thought to be HIV-positive
The summit, organised jointly by the Organisation of African Unity and the World Health Organisation is being attended by former US President Bill Clinton and nearly 50 African heads of state.

African leaders are expected to adopt a declaration which commits their governments to putting a much greater share of their budgets towards the fight against Aids.

Cheaper drugs

They will also reaffirm their right to import cheap generic drugs.

Ghanaian President John Kufuor said he hoped the result of the conference would be cheap drugs for all.

Flags of some of the countries participating to the summit
Nearly 50 African heads of state are attending the summit
"We will be calling on the international community as a whole to make drugs more accessible and affordable to all, especially Africa since Africa is the continent that suffers the most," he said.

The African continent accounts for almost 70% HIV infected people worldwide.

In 16 African countries more than one adult in 10 is HIV positive. In Botswana one in three is infected.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only part of the world with more women Aids sufferers than men; in some countries, infection rates among teenage girls are six times as high as for boys.

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See also:

14 Jan 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Words of hope from child Aids victim
19 Apr 01 | Africa
Cheaper drugs a long way off
19 Apr 01 | Health
SA Aids case: The repercussions
19 Apr 01 | Health
Aids epidemic 'underestimated'
15 Mar 01 | Africa
Analysis: Aids drugs and the law
21 Feb 01 | Business
Glaxo offers cheaper Aids drugs
24 Oct 00 | Aids
Aids drugs factfile
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