Wednesday, September 15, 1999 Published at 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Aids: World's 'worst undeclared war'
These babies are HIV positive - their parents have already died from Aids
A senior United Nations official has warned that the spread of Aids in Africa could threaten world peace and has called for a huge increase in international funds to tackle the problem.
She said the threat had reached ''monstrous proportions'' and warned that time was running out.
And whereas the United States currently spends more than $800m a year fighting HIV infection, the annual figure in Africa - where at least two thirds of the world's HIV infected people live - the figure is only $160m.
She said awareness of the fight against Aids in Africa must be raised to that of the continent's military conflicts in Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.
"By any measure the HIV Aids pandemic is the most terrible undeclared war in the world, with the whole of sub-Saharan Africa virtually a killing field. The hour is late; time is running out,'' Miss Bellamy said.
''The monstrous proportions of the HIV/Aids pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa show that far from [being] simply another new problem among other development problems, the disease is rapidly becoming a significant and growing threat to peace and stability throughout the entire world."
But she also told delegates that Africa must break the conspiracy of silence surrounding Aids among some leaders so that the huge dimensions of HIV infection were not hidden from the people suffering most.