_CCLOSING CEREMONIES (transcripts)
Friday, July 12, 2002
MALE SPEAKER #1: I think it's a moment that we've all been looking forward to. It's going to be magical moments when we, especially hear Former President Nelsen Mandela speak again.
(cheers and applause)
He's an inspiration to us all and you've all been asked to kindly please remain in your seats for the next few minutes. The opening - the closing ceremony - we can't have another opening, God. The closing ceremony is about to start in about four or five minutes.
Okay. And I've just been asked that some of the IAS Young Investigator Award recipients, I believe that you're being stopped by security. If you could move forward to somebody where security could please meet the scientists so that they can come and receive their awards. And I'd like to take to take this opportunity to thank you all for your commitment, your passion and your hard work and the community and people with HIV look forward to seeing you at the Bangkok Conference. Muchos gracias al todo.
FEMALE SPEAKER #1: The Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition was found in 1991 as the Jewish community's response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. A primary goal is to prevent the further spread of HIV and AIDS by educating as many people of the community as possible. We do this through three primary activities. The first is community forums in which we bring in a keynote speaker to address as many community audiences as possible. The second is through information and referral services to the people in the community. The third is through curriculum presentations, which we conduct at temples, synagogues, for youth groups and for other Jewish organizations.
When we conduct the curriculum presentations, we try to incorporate Jewish values into these presentations to help reinforce the messages about HIV and AIDS. The Jewish values are compassion for other people, valuing yourself, caring about your body, valuing life and looking out for others.
FEMALE SPEAKER #2: I go out into the community, mostly synagogues, but also public schools. And I speak to parents and adults about HIV prevention. So, I start off with a lecture of all the background and facts of HIV and then we play some games to reinforce what they've just learned. From there we move on to abstaining and postponing from risky behaviors. And then we go on to do a safer sex demo so that students and adults who are engaging in sexual intercourse can be protected from HIV.
From there we move to substance abuse and self-esteem. And we finish up by taking the parents and the students and separating them and working on some communication skill building. One of the activities that we use is called "Touch and Go." And what we is we bring two of the participants up to the front of the room and we have them talk about an issue. And at anytime somebody from the audience can go in and touch one of the participants on the shoulders and either take over their spot and continue on the issue or they can start a whole new issue. And then afterwards, the audience evaluates which type of communication skills allow for easy communication and which type create barriers so that communication can't take place.
FEMALE SPEAKER #3: We have found that it is critically important to involve the family unit as a whole in HIV and AIDS prevention education. By having the parents and their children learn together it serves several purposes that helps break down communication barriers between the parents and their children, hopefully making it easier for all of them to discuss very sensitive issues related to HIV and AIDS. It also helps to have the parents learn what the children are learning about HIV and AIDS. And ultimately another benefit is that they can be either more educated, or at least as educated, as their children and are related to this issue, and that way their children can feel comfortable turning them as a resource and get accurate information as opposed to misinformation.
We also try to involve somebody from the institution where we're conducting our curriculum presentations, either a rabbi or a teacher for several reasons. First of all, it gives credibility to our curriculum if they can talk about why this presentation is important, why it is being done in a Jewish venue, why Jewish values might relate to HIV and AIDS and why it is so important that the young people pay attention and learn. And also by having a Rabi or a teacher participate in the program, hopefully, in the future, if the children aren't comfortable going to their parents and they do need help, that they need information, they'll feel comfortable going to that Rabi or that teacher as a confidant, as somebody that they know knows accurate information that they can turn to.
We also tell them that it's critically important to update our curriculum every single year. First of all, because HIV/AIDS information changes so quickly but also because issues in terms of educators change over the years now that we hear so much more about medications. The young people are becoming more and more complacent because they fear that there are these wonder drugs and they don't think of HIV and AIDS as being such a dangerous issue anymore for them.
They're actually more scared and mostly from becoming pregnant than they are about contracting HIV and AIDS. So now we try to address that issue.
MALE SPEAKER #2: Indian health care resource centers HIV prevention program targets Native Americans living in Tulsa and in northeast Oklahoma. We have programs that target the general Native American population, Native American men who have sex with men, and Native American youth, aged 13 to 19. Specific projects in these areas include outreach activities where we visit pow-wows, cultural events, art festivals and gay bars in the area.
We have programs that are group activities that target our Native American men who have sex with men. We have a skills building program. It's a six-hour program that we call a Relationship Skills Program, which we actually adapted from the Partners in Prevention Program developed by Dr. Jeffrey Kelley (Misspelled?) from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. It's been very successful for us, it's easily adaptable and the men really enjoy it. We incorporate cultural activities during the daylong program, as well as food, as well the specific components of the Partners of Prevention model.
In our youth program, we work very closely with the Tulsa Public School System and school systems in the area. We've done this for the last five years. We've had a three-day retreat, each on of those years for Native American youth. In that retreat, the Native American youth learn information about HIV. We bring in presenters from different agencies in the area to talk specifically about HIV prevention. We also bring to talk - come in to talk about leadership skills, and we also invite people living with HIV, so that the young people have the chance to learn about what it's like to live with HIV and the issues that surround it.
To support these programs, we also have developed several brochures. We have brochures that target Native American men who have sex with men, one which specifically recruits people into our skills building program. We also have literature developed for Native American women, Native American lesbian women, the general Native American population, as well as a brochure that we collaborated with the American Red Cross on, which also targets the general Native American population.
We've learned many lessons over the last several years dealing with HIV prevention. One of the biggest lessons that we've learned is to involve the community. Early on, we actually went to the Native American community through focus groups and asked them what they felt would work best in HIV prevention. And this has been very helpful to us. Another lesson we've learned was that it is important to collaborate. We collaborate with other agencies in Tulsa, AIDS service organizations, as well as agencies that do not work with HIV and AIDS. We've collaborated with the American Red Cross to help develop brochures and we've collaborated with the Tulsa Public School System in order to ensure a successful youth (Unintelligible).
Tapping is another issue. We know that it is important for the messenger of the HIV prevention message to be either from the culture or someone who is very knowledgeable of the culture. The culture is very important to the program. We've learned that it is important to involve culture in all of our activities. We have seen through past experience that our activities or programs that involve culture are much more successful than ones that don't.
Being visible in the community is another issue. We try very hard to make sure that people know what Indian Health Care is and what services we provide. We try to reach the Native American community through our outreach activities and we also try to reach the community as a whole through being involved in the community. We have been very active on the boards of many AIDS service organizations in Tulsa, including national organizations. We also have been involved in the Ryan White (Unintelligible) Planning process for our state and also our state's HIV prevention community planning process.
MALE SPEAKER #3: As an HIV educator, I think it's very important to incorporate cultural beliefs and backgrounds with the people that you're trying to reach. As an example, as a Native American person, we use cultural skills and backgrounds to incorporate into our training. For example, we use the circle of life - the beginning and the end. We also have used what we call a "cedar blessing." We take the cedar and we take our shell and we create the environment as we sprinkle the cedar and it burns and it takes our prayers and thoughts up to the creator. We get into a circle and we hold hands. And we bless each and every one person. We also ask them to think or pray of anything that they want to release to the Great Spirit in healing of whatever. And that cedar, as it burns, it will take the prayers and thoughts up.
We also use, what we call our skills building workshops. Skill building workshops are an avenue to give you tools to use in everyday life, to empower yourself, to keep you safe, keep you from getting into risk of HIV infection. We start out with ground rules. We also start with a relationship workshop. We try to incorporate, what is a relationship to you? What does a relationship mean to you? What has worked? What has not worked? We also go into triggers. What makes you do what you normally wouldn't do? What stirs you? What pushes your buttons? And we make them look at each situation that they have caught themselves in.
We do self-talk. Self-talk is important when you're trying to change a behavior - a risky behavior. You start giving yourself talks -- "Now how will I do this differently, and what will I do in the future?" So those tools are important. We also will incorporate role-playing. Role-playing is very important because it gives you an opportunity to practice what you've learned. And we're giving you tools so we're going to pull you out and say, "Hey, practice it." And that gives us something to look for and look forward to.
At the end of our workshop, we wrap it up and we recap. We go over everything that we've talked about to remind them, "this is what goes on, this is what you need to do." So many times, and I have found out in my education, that I have seen, especially Native American men and women, lose their cultural identity. And they go down that path putting them at risk for HIV. And I see them as they empower themselves with these tools that they will take it back to their families and they will embrace their culture again, which will put them in a safer and more healthier environment.
MAN SINGING: I sat down and write a list, of every girl I ever kissed, but I couldn't remember them all. I guess it's a case of selected recall. I sat down and write a list of every girl I ever missed but I couldn't come up complete now all of the names could fit on the sheet. Then I sat down and put the name on the page - you were always on the first line. (Unintelligible) I sat down and write a list of every girl --
FEMALE SPEAKER #4: Drug use or use of illicit substances is illegal in Vietnam. There are no accurate figures in the extent of drug use and injecting drug use. The government in 1999 estimated that there were 172,000 drug-dependent people. It also estimated that 70% are under the age of 25 years old. The government of Vietnam believes injecting drug use has increased since Vietnam opened its borders in 1986 and is on the rise. It is difficult to accurately assess the pattern and extent of drug use as the degree and mode varies widely between user groups and between provinces.
In urban areas, injecting drug use has been more prevalent to date. Drug use often takes place in public places and shooting galleries, where the dealer provides both the drug and the injection. Urban areas, including tourist towns in Vietnam, have a growing population of injecting drug users.
The first case of HIV infection was reported in December 1990. The figures have risen over the last decade, with drug injecting being 65% of the total number of 26,000 detected cases at the time this video was produced. Many provinces throughout the country do not have the equipment to perform HIV surveillance and it is estimated that the true figures are at least five times higher with this long realization the need for reducing the harm involved in this behavior as they come (Unintelligible) to both the United Nations and the government of Vietnam.
The project set out to develop a community-based peer education model as part of an IAC strategy to decrease injecting drug users' risk of becoming infected with HIV. The use of peer support to promote harm reduction related to drug injecting means proving former drug users with specific education and training about safe behaviors, which prevent the transmission of HIV and promote safe injecting and safe sexual practices.
After nearly three years, the number of drug users who regularly use clean needles and syringes accounts for 60% of the total. Over 40% of the drug users know how to use condoms in proper ways for safe sex. These figures are so convincing and encouraging because such measures help prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS.
The project sites selected were in the Northern provinces of Lang Son, Haiphong, Thai Nguyen and Hanoi, and the central providence of Naiang (Misspelled?) on the Laos border.
The peer-educated groups are very active in playing the leading role to carry out communication activities. They often come to market places, schools and residence quarters to distribute leaflets and information on drugs control and HIV/AIDS prevention.
The level of community acceptance achieved in this project has been one of its greatest achievements. Income generation activities such as the motor bike washing service, located in the house of a peer educating in Quang Chung ward, is also aimed at the same purpose.
Since the day my husband became a peer educator, he has become a new person. He earns extra income for the family and has been able to stay off drugs and participate as a peer educator in the community and has more time for his wife and children.
With the support of the local authority Mr. Tang (Misspelled?) from the Korean ward in Quang Chung, has had a new lease of life. With Bank loans, he made investment in the manufacture of needles, which brought some stable income to the family, and recognition for himself to being integrated into the community. He now feels that it's his turn to help other drug addicts keep off and prevent and prevent HIV/AIDS.
I have focused on my work to prevent myself from thinking about drug-taking, and I encourage other drug users to do the same. I believe they will listen to me because I am a (Unintelligible).
(Unintelligible section chanting, cheering, shouting and clapping)
(Cheers and Applause)
(Unintelligible section chanting, cheering, shouting and clapping)
MALE SPEAKER #4: Good morning!
Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your patience. The closing ceremonies will start very shortly, but we need your cooperation first. Could you all please take your seats immediately?
In the front, these VIP seats - these seats are numbered. If those of you don't have a number, you'll need to leave those seats immediately, please.
Ladies and gentlemen. The ceremony will not begin until everyone has taken your seats. We'd like to start. We know you'd like to start. Please take your seats. Thank you very much.
[dead air approximately 12 minutes]
MALE SPEAKER #5: Hello? That's it then, is it? Thank heavens it's all over. Whew! One day more and I think I'd explode. Try and do what they say. Three deep breaths. Three deep breaths. And let your mind go blank. Well, I get the breaths right but the blank mind's a bit of a problem. Getting faces, names, missions, assemblies, committees, committees, committees. (Unintelligible) committee? Between you and me, I shouldn't actually be here. No, I mean, don't tell anybody else in the conference, eh? But, I shouldn't be here because I should be saying goodbye to the delegates -- Europe, Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Central America, Asia, Euro-Asia, the Artic, the Antarctic. I haven't missed anybody out, right? I must send a postcard, as well. The postcard. I'm stumped. Does anyone know where the nearest post office is, please? No? [Speaking in Spanish ] No? Oh, well. Forget the postcards. I'm not going. I'm not going to say good-bye to the delegates. I'm going to (Unintelligible) with the media, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to see (Unintelligible) the media, buy some souvenirs, Mexican hats. I've seen some wonderful Mexican hats on the ramblers there, right? Yeah. So, I'll go and buy those.
Is there some kind of football match on or something? Oh, well. Hold on a minute. You are waiting for a taxi, aren't you? No? This is the opening ceremony, then is it? Oh, right. Okay. Got the cards here somewhere. I can't remember who starts first. Was it a right honorable? Or an honorable or an exceletisimo. Did anybody find out how to say "excelentisimo" in English? No? Was it lord mayor? Right, I'll be with you in a second. Just a second. Carma? Do you know where my contact lenses are?
VOICE MACHINE: (Speaking in Spanish). Good afternoon good, good, good, good afternoon. Buenos Tardes. Borna Tardes. (machine repeats over and over)
MALE SPEAKER #5 Hey! Thank you, Mr. Fawn. Prepare yourselves for the closing ceremonies and for the wishes ritual. Mr. Fawn, the postcard please. Careful. Careful. We may just run you over there. Well done, Mr. Fawn. Thank you for not falling once again. Made me terribly nervous. Okay. It's for me, is it? Give it over here. Down, head, down. Down, head, down. Down. Down. Down. Pass it over, Mr. Fawn. It's a me, yes. I'll read it for them. Here we go.
The postcard from Mr. Fawn today. "Dear Mr. Presenter. Every afternoon in the countdown ritual, we invited various personalities to manifest publicly their thoughts, their wishes, their longings. All of them have come with their hands full of wishes and with immense generosity have created a whole constellation of ideas, which in turn, help to shed light on a present and a future full of hope. Today, Barcelona passes on the torch of knowledge, commitment and action to Bangkok. I should like, therefore, for you to read just some of the wishes expressed by the participants in the XIV International AIDS Conference. As to Ambrosia (Misspelled?), the great (Unintelligible) poet and playwright once said, 'Take one step forward. To take one step forward one should aim at the infinite.'"
Thank you, Mr. Fawn. Today's Almanac, Friday the 12th of July, two years to go to the Bangkok Conference. The sun sets at 21:25. The crescent moon sets at 23:24. Weather: I'm sure it's much better than it is in here. A little bit stormy in here tonight this afternoon rather. Temperature: 28 degrees centigrade. Winds: southwesterly. Sea: pretty calm. The third week of summer. Sign of the Zodiac: cancer. Protecting tree: the holly. Totem animal: the woodpecker. Right. Are we down here?
Now is the time in this closing ceremony to present the handful of wishes. [music] A handful of wishes hurled from the wishes expressed by the participants this morning. We'll start off with wish number one, which comes all the way from North Carolina, U.S.A. "My wish is that the governments of the most powerful nations truly recognize the HIV/AIDS crisis and begin to seriously make a commitment to action against this epidemic by making a significant, financial commitment in a timely fashion. Ten billion dollars now."
I had another one actually which continues from the ten billion dollars now and actually says, "Forty million dollars now - forty billion dollars now," sorry.
And our next wish [in Spanish]. The wish, the most obvious wish of course, in the conference [in Spanish]. Find a vaccine for AIDS.
Another very short one here, "Honesty."
Another one here, "Say no to HIV but not to HIV patients."
"Equality in health care to all."
And I'd just like to improvise my very own wish that the only thing contagious in the future is the joy and music expressed by our friends over there. Let's hope that somebody soon is writing the words for the song which expresses celebrate the cure for AIDS.
And not it is time to welcome, once again, the Co-President of the XIV International AIDS Conference, Dr. Dr. Jose Maria Gatell, Head of the Infections Unit of the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona. And Dr. Jordi Casabona, Director of the AIDS Epidemiology Study Center of the Department of Health of Catalonia.
DR. JOSE MARIA GATELL: Buenos dias. [Speaking in Spanish]. Welcome, everybody to the International - XIV International AIDS Conference. After long and hopefully fruitful week, it's now the time to wrap up - to say goodbye to welcome the Thai (Misspelled?) delegation and most importantly, to open a period of two years of very hard work. It's been a great honor to organize it on the behalf of the International AIDS Society and in very close corporation with the organizers UNAIDS (Unintelligible) Again, let me welcome to this ceremony and we hope that the legacy of the conference be a solid and permanent partnership between scientists, community, social and political leaders in order to translate the knowledge into science, and the science into action right now. Thank you very much.
DR. JORI CASABONA: Good morning. Buen dia. Buenos dias. I will be very short. We have prepared a very nice closing ceremony for all of you and we hope we can share that today with you. So we'll be back with you in shortly. Thank you.
The first speaker of this morning will be Dr. Stefano Vella, who is going to give the Young Investigators Award of International AIDS Society. Dr. Stefano Vella.
STEFANO VELLA: Actually, I'm not a speaker. So I'll take just a few minutes for still a very important event which is the Young Investigators Award that International AIDS Society selects throughout the abstracts of the seven tracks of the conference. We know that today is my last day as President of the International AIDS Society. I started in Durban. These two years have been, I think, the most important of my life and I'm very happy that my successor Joep Lang is here. He will talk to you. And now I would like to call the seven awardees from different continents to come here. Can you come all together so we make it. So those are young investigators. Actually I hoped I could qualify for but they said I was out for two decades. But -- oh, here they are.
Hello. Are they seven? Yes. Seven tracks. So the first awardee is David O'Connor from University of Wisconsin in Madison, U.S.A. for Track A. David, that's your award.
For Track B, Clinic Science and Care, Sherene Min from University of North Carolina, the U.S. (Unintelligible).
For Track C, Epidemiology, Le Thuy Lan Thao from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
For Track D, Prevention Science, D Koumaivi Ekouevi from Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire. Thank you very much.
For Track E, Social Sciences, Megan Dunbar, University of California and University of Zimbabwe.
And then from for Track F, Interventions and Program Implementation, it's my pleasure (Unintelligible) from (Unintelligible) Foundation in Uganda. Thank you.
Valeria, where is your award?
VALERIA OLIVEIRA-CRUZ: I take it?
STEFANO VELLA: I gave it to him. (Unintelligible) So it's definitely I step down from the Presidency of International AIDS Society. So that you had a bigger applause, isn't it. So Valeria Oliveira-Cruz for Track G, Advocacy and Policy. She work in London School of Hygiene. And thank you very much and sorry for this little confusion.
VALERIA OLIVEIRA-CRUZ: Thank you.
DR. JOSE MARIA GATELL: Thank you, Stefano. It's been a real pleasure to be working with you in the past two years in the preparation of this International AIDS Conference when serve as President of the International AIDS Society.
It is now my pleasure and a great honor to introduce the incoming President of the International AIDS Society is Joep Lang. Joep Lang is professor of medicine at the University of Amsterdam. He has been very much involved in the AIDS research since the very beginning of the epidemic and his name has been linked with most of the greatest achievement during history of the epidemic in the last twenty-somewhat years. So that, Joep.
JOEP LANG: Thank you very much, Jose. Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to begin by thanking the organizers for the Barcelona Conference, a long time friend, colleague, Jose Gatell and Jordi Casabona and all the support staff for the tremendous job they did. I am the new President of the International AIDS Society and I'm very proud of it. IAS is this society of health care professionals united to fight against HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the hard work of my immediate predecessors, Mark Weinberg and Stefano Vella, IAS has enormously expanded it activities over the past few years. They deserve to be applauded for that.
The most important accomplishment is that IAS brought the International AIDS Conferences to the South and they'll continue to do so again and again and again and again. I'm very happy that the 2004 Conference will be held in Bangkok that the royal Tai government is our host the government that has shown and continues to show exceptional leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I'm also very happy to give the floor for short moment to Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, the Head of ANRS and also the Chair of the next IAS conference in Paris in 2003.
DR. MICHEL KAZATCHKINE: Thank you. This a brief word of welcome. We're committed to make this Paris conference next year, the Second IAS Conference on pathogenesis and treatment, a truly international conference of the highest scientific quality anchored in the reality of what the epidemic will be in 2003. Focus will be on pathogenesis, new drugs, new treatment strategies, vaccine research, prevention science, and all areas of science and medicine that are relevant to the expansion of access to care to the developing world. So in between now and Bangkok, welcome to Paris one year from now. IHI
JOEP LANG: Now I want to focus on this specific on the one specific issue that has been close to my heart for the last two years. And it's actually an issue that should be burning like fire inside the hearts all of us. That was the real thing with this conference that, of course, is access to decent HIV care, including antiretroviral therapy (Unintelligible) in millions and millions of infected people in developing countries who need it. The world can simply not afford to let them die, from a humanitarian perspective, from a developmental perspective and from a security perspective. And it is possible to do something about it. And it's actually quite simple that is going to require an enormous effort, yet it is simple. Do not be fooled. People make simple things complex to condone their inertia. I would like to be very concrete.
Things did happen since the Watershed Conference in Durban. From a political and advocacy perspective, the most important event in the history of HIV/AIDS. Drug prices have come down further. ANGUSS put treatment on the political agenda. "Finally" we may say. The Global Fund was created. WHO in a very short time produced first-rate treatment guidelines to guide the help in countries in their choices. Antiretrovirals were put on the essential drug list. Don't underestimate the importance of these steps. They are milestones and they deserve to be acknowledged as such.
Yet, the enormous gap between numbers of people on treatment 20,000, maybe 30,000 in Africa and the six million that need to be treated today hurts. And the slow pace at which the world reacts hurts even more. Both societies are being destroyed by this nasty virus. It causes human suffering on an unprecedented scale and that's no exaggeration. It halts no reverts development. It fuels a global TB epidemic and yet, despite rhetoric, including the rhetoric about moving beyond rhetoric we dismally fail to act. And again, it's not difficult. Complexities introduced to condone the inertia of those who are living of this epidemic or maybe not inertia but lack of simple lack of imagination.
It is so clear what needs to be done. We need to make a plan of action for a concerted global effort. Do you think that smallpox would ever have been eradicated without such a concerted effort? Providing comprehensive HIV/AIDS care may be more difficult than eradicating smallpox but that does not mean that we should not go about it in a similar fashion. Why do we have this stop TB initiative but not yet stop HIV initiative? If we are serious about scaling-up access to treatment we need to go about like a military operation. We need to make an inventory county by country of needs to put all eligible people on treatment. We need to identify the organizations who can help countries do the job and list them and define tasks. We need to be creative. For instance you do not a lot of infrastructure to deliver HIV/AIDS care. We do not need complex regiments. We do not need doctors and nurses to deliver the care in every remote corner of Africa or scaling-up rapidly community mobilization and involvement of community workers is far more important than waiting for enough health care professionals to be trained. Of course, I'm not saying that we shouldn't send health care professionals. Above all, we need to keep it simple. Paul Farmer and his group have convincingly shown that all you need is a community worker providing daily-observed therapy. And if we can get cold Coca-Cola and beer to every remote corner of Africa, it should not be impossible to do the same with drugs.
There's actually very little evidence that laboratory monitoring prevents mortality due to drug toxicity but there's an awful lot of evidence that not treating symptomatic HIV infection is lethal and usually not in a nice way. Why are we always more concerned about doing harm than about not doing good? We need to link prevention efforts to treatment. Not juxtaposition. And yes, we need to look at sustainability but we don't have to wait for that to begin. We simply cannot wait for it.
We also should not rely on public sector only. I'm extremely pleased to be in the presence of so many heads of states here the presence of President Clinton, the presence of that here of all of us, Nelson Mandela. That the presence with the presence of other high government officials of many countries and especially with the large Royal Tai delegation here. But let's face it, let's face these are the exceptions. And please be reminded of the fact that of all the ills that kill the poor none is as lethal as bad government. Bad government and lack of leadership have actually killed more people with HIV than anything else. Should we refrain from doing something for people who happen to live in those countries where there is bad leadership? Should we be punishing them twice? Yet, when you try to mobilize the forces for this concerted global effort, the one word that keeps coming back in conversations of donors with U.N. bodies, with philanthropic organizations, even with some high profile NGOs like MSF, with (Unintelligible) poverty, these concerns, concerns, concerns. I'm sick of this word because all these concerns are about process about keeping up appearances. But I actually am much more concerned about the millions of people who are dying about the millions of death and the suffering that we could prevent if we get our act together.
Finally, a word about money. As my friend Joseph Shide (Misspelled?) for the Dutch AIDS charity, Stop AIDS Now, said yesterday, a few years from now, people will not be asking where the 10 billion, but where are the three million. I'm actually convinced that the $10 billion that is often quoted is an underestimation of what is needed. But even if it were $25 billion per year it would be peanuts. Do you know how much Argentina World Cup Football match cost the United Kingdom economy because people were not working? Two billion dollars. It just takes five to twelve football matches and a concerted global effort to really do something about HIV/AIDS. What are we waiting for? Thank you.
DR. JOSE MARIA GATELL: Thank you. It is now a very special moment for us. It is now the moment to recognize the work the very hard work of the staff of the conference. The visible faces of the conference, the organizers, the organizers, the chairs, the delegate, and obviously the media, we apologize for the mess we have cause. The staff is the invisible face and the (Unintelligible) if you wish. The more they remain invisible the more things proceed smooth. The staff, including (Unintelligible) is a group of more than 40 persons from ten different countries including Africa, America, Asia and Europe. They have been extraordinary committed with the conference and working very hard for long period time from six months to four years doing the preparation of the conference. They have been working, not only hard but also quite often under stressful and very difficult conditions for a variety of reasons. Thank you. Thank you very much. Some of them have had past experience with International AIDS Conference. Others, like myself, or like Jordi, was the first time, and trust me, at least for myself, it will be the last time. By the way, more than two thirds of the staff are women and so, most likely this is the reason why almost everything proceeded smoothly.
In addition, during the conference, more than a thousand additional persons, mainly volunteers but also our dutiful staff, hostesses, personnel from (Unintelligible) among others, have been working for all of us. It is up to you to decide whether this XIV International AIDS Conference has been successful in terms of the organization. In any case, I assume all weakness and mistakes, and all credit and strength should be attributed to them. So, I cannot mention the names of everybody but let me say just part: Javier, Shaun, Ninon, other Javier, Karen, Marta (Misspelled?), Rober (Misspelled?), Judith and many of them. Please, big applause for them.
Now, is the moment that we need to introduce three very special speakers. Before doing that, I should ask I should request, please not to use flash photography. Please refrain from using flash photography.
It's my great honor and my pleasure to announce Maire Bopp Dupont and the Honorables Mr. Clinton and Mr. Mandela.
Please, please, please refrain. Don't use flash photography please. Refrain from using flash photography, please. Please, you are strongly requested not to use flash photography.
It is now thank you very much. Thanks a lot. It is now a great pleasure and also a great privilege to introduce the next speaker, Maire Bopp Dupont. Our next speaker will give the traditional greeting and comes from one of the tiny islands of French Polynesia. There (Unintelligible) like sisters, and friends like brothers. In September 1999, journalist Maire Bopp Dupont found that she had contacted HIV. A month later after recovering from serious illness, (Unintelligible) from her country's traditional greeting. She told not just her family, not just her friends, not just her community, Maire also told news colleagues visiting her island. In turn, they told six million fellow islanders. "May you have life," she told them all. Announcing she was HIV-positive that day, Maire was the first ever Pacific Islander to public with the disease. By 2000 year 2000, Maire was already leading AIDS campaign in the islands. She was one of the (Unintelligible) from around the world to meet United Nation General Secretary of Yemen to receive the United Nations Development Program Race Against Poverty Award for her contribution towards fighting AIDS and the poverty causes. It is poverty that Maire wants to talk about today, not just financial poverty or mortal poverty but the poverty of imagination on a global scale. By speaking out, she hopes will help others health and give life.
MAIRE BOPP DUPONT: Wow. I don't know if you see but I'm shaking. And I wasn't supposed to shake. This is a big honor and privilege for me coming from the smallest islands of this world located in the largest region of the Pacific Ocean. To be hear today to give you the address on behalf of the community of people living with HIV and AIDS. I want to thank the International Community of Women for this opportunity that they giving me. But it's a big responsibility. When we were back there, I couldn't believe that I was actually meeting with Nelson Mandela and Mr. Bill Clinton.
Going public with HIV and AIDS is not easy but Nelson Mandela, I can tell you, that through those years have been one of my inspiration. And a major one because I always told myself if you could go through what you've been and be here today, I could do the same. I know it's ambitious but I like that.
From Barcelona to Bangkok, 2004, I was asked to give many remarks in four minutes. I will try. The first one is that I am putting my hands together and looking at Thailand delegates. On behalf of the communities when it happens in Bangkok or in Thailand, communities want to have more room, more space and area to talk and to meet with each other more than what they have leave in Barcelona. We've enjoyed the huge booth of pharmaceutical companies but we didn't like to have such a small space for us. We know how important all pharmaceutical companies, for the drugs that they can provide and I have here probably what keeps me here today until I can't (Unintelligible) as far as I can afford it or at least my government can afford it. I can't wait for the day where those people that I've lost because they didn't have these. We then be relieved know that everyone else have it from now on. I can't wait for that day. The day when battle for profit making will end.
We are fighting against HIV and AIDS and we all calling for more money. And if we do so, it's probably because we see and we hear that there's so much money around. And what big example that was just on the news this week kept reminding me of those headlines that I've seen once of the United States spending a billion 1.8 billion a month for the military campaign in Afghanistan. And yet, we are here struggling for two billion struggling for two billions. The United States have voted a budget of 393 billion for 2001 defense operation military operations. I wish peace. I wish peace because in the world at this point, and in my country as well, violence is so big that it prevents us to go and give a message this message of awareness preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS. Even if I come from some smallest islands that violence that military attitude all the time there too. We have nice places coconut trees and beach but HIV and AIDS has broken onto our shores, as well, flowing in our bloods. And this is why we all think today, even in our remote places, that HIV and AIDS is also a security matter. If we can spend so much on defense, I'm sure we can spend as much on HIV and AIDS and relieve the millions of people today infected and affected by these epidemic. We have talked about money lots but if we do get that money, it will require even from us, the communities, discipline to manage those funds. Use those funds wisely and fairly for everyone.
My last message goes for the people living with HIV and AIDS. I want to give you a big applause. For you who have opened your life, your hearts to the others so that they can hear, listen and share and benefit from it. Congratulations. But the work doesn't stop here. It's going to be even harder going home and having to face our own people the ones that we meet in our daily life. I wish you all the good there. Rest if good. Do some sports, and with God's help, give us wisdom and strength and foresight shall succeed to spread the message of and the spirit of being positively positive.
At home, as I was growing up, at home there used to be a song and the song talked about HIV/AIDS as the disease from the road. Today, there's another song still in my language but it talks about the disease of love. For me, going around and talking to the young people, this is what I think they should remember because in many cases, HIV and AIDS happens when there are feelings in our hearts. On this note, [French Polynesian language] from the people of the Pacific Ocean and I wish you a good return home. Thank you.
And now, I have the honor and the privilege to leave this place and welcome let's welcome Mr. Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States.
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you, Maire. Thank you for your speech and for your example, Thank you Jose Maria and Jordi for your co-chairing this conference. And ladies and gentlemen, most of all, thank you for giving your lives to save the lives of million and for a future without AIDS. I want to thank my good friend, Nelson Mandela for being here with me and for co-chairing the International AIDS Trust and I will have a few words to say about that in a moment.
You have now spent a week reviewing the heartless marks of the pandemic, hearing again the heartbreaking stories and the tales of survival and triumph. You have heard again, how much we still have to do to keep the number of infections from going from 40 to 100 million. The number of deaths from exploding from 25 to 65 million. You know what the world is not doing. That fewer than one in five people at risk have access to preventive services. Fewer than one and fifty infected individuals receive the drugs and in Africa, the number is only one in a thousand.
But you have had some good news, too, of a blueprint to prevent 29 million or two thirds of the predicted new HIV infections by the end of the decade of a plan MTCT Plus to build on preventing mother-to-child transmissions by treating the infected mother and family members for life of an agreement between the Caribbean nations and the drug companies at last to bring life-saving drugs at dramatically lower prices to a region with the second fastest growing rates of AIDS in the world. And of the continuing evidence that many nations, even some very poor ones, have brought the epidemic under control and are further reducing infections. And of the great work being done by NGOs, including the work of the Gates Foundation in Botswana.
I wanted, most of all, to thank all of you in this room for your heroic efforts. Yes, 25 million people have died but if it hadn't been for you and your comrades, the number might be 50 million. If it hadn't been for you and your comrades, the number of infected people might already be 100 million but you are not devoting your lives to make this epidemic a little less bad. You want to stop it, reverse it and end it. By that measure, we're still failing.
Two years ago in Durban, the world place to end inequities and treatment. We have not done that. A year ago, the U.N. Special Session on AIDS produced pledges to advance treatment and prevention and public awareness by 2003. We are not going to meet the goal. A year and a half ago, a South African court settlement required the drug companies to negotiate radically lower prices with poor countries. And the U.N. had approved generic substitutes from India and Brazil. Yet too few countries have concluded agreements like the one reached by the Caribbean nations this week.
How could we explain to a visitor from outer space this situation? The world is being consumed by a disease that is preventable with drugs that turn a death sentence into a chronic illness and prevent mother-to-child transmission. With example after example of nations that have reversed the infection, how could we explain that to someone who had not lived through it? We live in an interdependent world with great rewards to those who can claim its benefits and universal vulnerability to its problems. We learned that with the threat of terror and we learn it with AIDS, where most of the cases are still in Africa but the fastest growing rates are elsewhere. In the Former Soviet Union on Europe's back door, and the Caribbean on America's front door, in India, the world's largest democracy.
The great conflict of the early twenty-first century is between the forces of integration and cooperation against the forces of disintegration and chaos between those who believe in a shared future and those who claim a separate future between those who wish to live in inclusive communities and those who want exclusive communities, composed only of people who think and act alike. We have to more the world from interdependence to an integrated global community to people who want a shared future in an inclusive community. We cannot do it without defeating AIDS and no one can sit on the sidelines. It is, as it has already been said a threat not simply to our health but to our economic wellbeing and to our very security. A hundred million AIDS cases means more terror, more mercenaries, more war, destruction and the failure of fragile democracies. We cannot lose the war on AIDS and win our battles to reduce poverty, promote stability, advance democracy and increase peace and prosperity. That is why I said it was a security threat when I was President. And that is why every citizen on our small planet has a personal interest in ending AIDS. There is something for everyone to do.
First, the wealthy nations should determine what each share of the $10 billion a year that the Secretary General of the United Nations and the experts who've said is required to spend. We should figure out what our share is and we should pay it.
For America, since we are spending about $800 million a year now, we owe a little than $2 billion more or less than two months of the Afghan war, less than three percent of the requested increases for defense and homeland defense in the current budget. For the developing nations, it means concluding negotiations with the drug companies in a prompt way with options to get generic substitutes from India and Brazil or elsewhere. It means developing plans for care and prevention based on what is working in other countries. And then when that is done, developing countries have to determine how much they can pay and send the rest of us the bill for the difference.
It means increasing the role of young people and women in these deliberations because they are being disproportionably affected by the epidemic today. Here in Barcelona, the youth force and the bill of rights for women which have been circulated are examples of what we will have to have more of if citizens around the world are to take ownership of their part of this fight.
And finally, it means leaders everywhere, in and out of government, must move aggressively to end stigma and denial to stop the stereotyping where it still exists. There are still people who view AIDS as something that affects only people who are different. Yes, people with HIV and AIDS are sex workers and drug addicts and poor and often gay and if you live in a place with a low rate of infection, most of them are from another county, maybe another race. But they're also our friends and our neighbors.
Among the victims in America was a young boy I knew named Ricky Ray and when I ran for President I championed his right not to be discriminated against when he was thrown out of school because he got HIV from a bad blood supply and he was a hemophiliac. Ricky Ray lived to see me elected but died before I took office. I kept his picture in my White House office every single day when I was President to remind me of the human face of this.
I lost a member of my administration who was a good man, a gay man, a devoted father and a great public servant. We all know the victims. And we also know a lot of the victors. There's a man here from Nigeria named Johnny Beckway (Misspelled?). He and his wife were embraced on national television by President Obasanjo because they were both HIV-positive and John risked everything to get his pregnant wife the drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission. This is the result almost four-year old Maria, free of HIV because of people like you.
But make no mistake about it. There is still al lot of stereotyping. There is still an astonishing amount of denial. And there is still even persecution of people who are working on the front lines of this battle. Just last week, Human Rights Watch published a report of unconscionable police abuse of frontline AIDS prevention workers in India of peer educators facing violence and harassment of training sex workers in prevention of an AIDS worker who had hot chili powder rubbed in her eyes. And when the workers complained, the local police chief said who cares. They weren't normal citizens who had the right to complain. And another case AIDS workers reaching out to men who have sex with other men were detained by police for 47 days, part of time without access to drinkable water of sanitation facilities. One was told that happened to him because he was trying to destroy his country by promoting homosexuality. Government must stop this and not just in India but everywhere.
It has been my experience that when people are pitted against others by politicians, they do it either out of fear of political damage or out of a desire for political advantage. Either motive is a rebuke to our common humanity. A common humanity enshrined in all the great religions. The Torah says he who turns aside a stranger might as well turn aside from the most-high God. The holy Koran says that Allah put different people on the earth, not that they might despise one another but that they might come to know one another and learn from one another. In the Christian Gospel, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God but the next is like unto it to love your neighbor as yourself. In the Dhamma Pada, the Buddhist says never does hatred by hatred cease but by love alone. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna says him I hold highest who suffers every sorry of every creature within his own heart. In our interdependent world, we have to suffer the sorrows of each other. Our differences are differences are important. They make life more interesting but our common humanity matters more.
I saw this yesterday in the MTV conversation with 50 young people from 25 countries. In the town hall meeting with ten current former heads of state willing to make a dramatic commitment of their time and energy to reverse the epidemic-- the first time world leaders have ever deliberated in an open session at the International AIDS Conference.
We are all eager to do more. Before the year is out, I will visit Africa and India to help bring more visibility and offer more support. I pledge that in every speech I make and every private meeting I have I will raise this issue and ask for people to pledge greater efforts. I will do all I can in the United States and around the world to get more money, more action and more understanding. And I ask you both to hold me accountable for that commitment and to give me your ideas on what more I can do.
Last year my friend Sandy Thurman (Misspelled?), who headed our AIDS effort when I was President, asked me to co-chair the International AIDS Trust along with my friend, President Mandela. Nelson Mandela changed history with his ability to see beyond difference and move beyond vengeance. Only very rarely does the world love and respect someone as we all love and respect him. Few leaders in the world have the power he has to help people be better than they normally are. He has lived a few years but I know no one who is younger at heart.
Like the aging Ulysses in Lord Tennyson's great poem, he has left the governing of South Africa to the children of his sacrifice and has set off to sale beyond the stars in search of a new world, in which the world's children have their childhood and live their dreams, in which AIDS does not become the burden for the world but apartheid was for his childhood.
So President Mandela and I have agreed to work together to launch the World Leaders AIDS Action Network, composed of the world leaders who are here today from India, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia and all others we can persuade to join to be at your service, to bring attention and resources where they're most needed to raise the global commitment to end AIDS.
Today we all go forth with a fresh chance to build a great and global alliance to find a vaccine, discover a cure, prevent new infections, treat the sick and care for the orphans. If we can see ourselves in those who suffer and find our freedom in their release, we will not only change the course of this epidemic but the course of history. I know how discouraging this is for many of you. I know how long you have fought how many you have buried, how many tears you have shed. But you know, as well as I, that there are now cracks appearing in glaciers of indifference we thought would never melt. In the United States, in his last year in the Senate, Senator Jesse Helms said that his one regret was that he had not done more against AIDS and he asked the United States to spend another $500 million. There are people like that all over the world. Do not give up on anyone. Keep pushing the rock up the hill.
When I was a young man in the hours when I was most discouraged, there was one verse of the scripture of my faith which often kept me going. In gratitude to you, I close with it today. "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in new season you will reap, if you do not lose heart." Thank you and God bless you all.
IHI DR. JOSE MARIA GATELL: Please, out of consideration for the honorable Mr. Mandela, I remind you not to using flash from the floor. Former South African President Nelson Mandela is a world symbol of peace, forgiveness and understanding. Mr. Mandela has dedicated his life to fighting for equal and opportunities. And not only for the people of South Africa but for the people of the world. In a moving closing speech at the previous conference in Durban, Mr. Mandela urged the world to make a commitment to action. He urged that the disputes between politics and science be placed aside and that we all address the needs and concerns of those living with and dying from HIV/AIDS. And he said, "History will judge as hardly if we fail to do so and we should do that right now." It is this philosophy that has brought us to Barcelona, where we hear Mr. Mandela's call for us to all work together to take the knowledge we have gained and use it to make a commitment to action.
It is my honor and my pleasure to introduce to you to the Former President of South Africa and world leader for human rights, Mr. Nelson Mandela.
NELSON MANDELA: Since last we came together at the Durban conference in 2000, we are told that six million more people have died as a result of HIV/AIDS. And, worst of all, that within the next 20 years, 70 million people will die unless drastic action is taken. There are many issues that I would like to touch upon in these few (Unintelligible) words. Issues of poverty and the burden of disease in developing countries, and the impact that this has on the AIDS pandemic. The importance of investment in developing countries, to spur the economic growth which will ensure a sustained response to the epidemic. The importance of the community response to HIV/AIDS, and the rooting out of denial about the cause and consequences of AIDS.
In prevention of HIV infection in the youth, we have a remarkable initiative in South Africa called loveLife, which is a bold and ambitious attempt to reduce HIV infection by promoting sexual health and healthy future for young people. The extraordinary vulnerability of women to HIV infection, and the importance of gender issues in the fight against AIDS. The importance of preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child. AIDS should not be a disease of children. The importance of finding the vaccine, and of communities being prepared to participate in large-scale vaccine trials. The list goes on and on, but we do not have time to address all of these important subjects. Instead, we have to select a few issues which we currently regard as requiring the most urgent agenda. Nothing can be more heart-rending and in need of urgent attention than the case of AIDS orphans, who so often find themselves rejected and ostracized by communities.
Personally, nothing can shake me more than the sight of these innocent young children suffering physically, socially, and emotionally. There are nearly 14 million children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. It is predicted that there will be more than 25 (Unintelligible) million of them by 2010. This is a tragedy of enormous consequence. I'm sure you have been told that AIDS is killing more people than were killed by all the worst wars of history and natural disasters. AIDS is a war against humanity.
When we talk about it, and the actions we take, we must be influenced by the fact that this is a war which requires (Unintelligible) mobilization of the entire population. These children will grow up without the love and care of their parents, and most of them will be deprived of their basic rights shelter, food, health, and education. Many will be subjected to abuse, (Unintelligible), exploitation, discrimination, trafficking, and loss of inheritance. We have an obligation to provide the proper care and support for these children. No adult can stand by and watch while these children suffer. As adults, we have collective and individual responsibility (Unintelligible). The stigma and discrimination inflicted on these children are atrocious and inexcusable. Many people suffering from AIDS are not killed by the disease itself, are killed by the stigma surrounding everybody who has HIV/AIDS.
That is why their leaders must do everything in their power to fight and to win the struggle against this stigma. Likewise, it is inexcusable to subject any person infected or affected by HIV/AIDS to such abuse and rejection. We must, therefore, tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS with even greater urgency. We must show that we care for all those affected by this terrible disease, and that we are doing something about it. Eloquence on this pandemic is good, but not sufficient. That is the first part of trying to direct the attention of the community to this pandemic. But what is more, what you do about it on the ground. Unless we are able to follow what you say by doing something practical to deal with this situation, our eloquence is less than useful.
When I was the President of South Africa, I went round the country together with the then-Minister of Social Welfare (Unintelligible). Every city or rural area we went to, we told parents "bring the children who are suffering from terminal disease, like HIV/AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis, malaria. We also want you to bring children who are disabled, either physical or mental." And the fact the president of the country is seen sitting at tables with children with HIV/AIDS and suffering from terminal diseases, children who are disabled, makes the parents less ashamed of their children. And it's certain.
Parents will say, "if the President of the country and the Minister of Welfare can sit at table and enjoy a meal with our children, who suffer from terminal diseases, who are disabled, why must we be ashamed of them? We want them to come out and be seen, and to enjoy life like ordinary individuals." Every year, I bring together between 1,500 and 2,000 children, and I go right round the country. There is hardly any province in our country that has not seen this message I bring home. And that is how we give hope to children who otherwise hardly have no future at all. It is very important for us, to go to the ground, and to tell the community how to deal with this pandemic. I know, for example, a judge who sits in one of our highest courts who has HIV/AIDS. He came to brief me about his position. His immune system was almost destroyed. He could not walk, but somehow he came to me, to fight back and win this battle. He is (Unintelligible) This is the food that you must eat. He followed that advice, and his immune system became stronger. He is now in the highest (Unintelligible), in the highest court of the country. If a judge can do so, you also can do so.
But you must not be ashamed of speaking out and telling the community that "I suffer from HIV/AIDS." In jail, I contracted TB. And, outside jail, I was found to be a cancer victim. My colleagues did not stigmatize me. They gave me all their love and support. There is no reason, whatsoever, why sufferers should hide that they have been affected by this pandemic. Because when you keep quiet and this is something, a hundred times when you keep quiet, you are signing your own death warrant.
And the best thing to do is to practice. Say "I have this disease. I want to be (Unintelligible)." We need to remind ourselves why so many of these children are orphans today: because their parents were not able to get access to treatment for AIDS, most likely because they could not afford it. Or because they lived in a country which was too poor to provide their basic health care. We must know that one of the greatest assaults to human dignity is poverty, where you wake up not knowing where you're going to get your next meal. Where you cannot have decent accommodations for yourself and for your children. Where you cannot feed them, where you cannot send them to the school. That is the greatest assault on human dignity, and that is why [applause] And that is why we should pay particular attention to the poor who are ill, whose immune system is not capable of resisting these terminal diseases.
We know I'm sorry I ask all leaders in the world: Is this acceptable? We know that there are treatments available which restore the immune system, which stop the opportunistic infections, especially TB, and which return AIDS sufferers for good health, for several years, at least. Is it acceptable that these dying parents have no hope of access to treatment? The simple answer is "no." We must find ways we must find ways and means to make life-saving treatment available to all who need it.
Regardless of whether they can pay for it, or where they live, or for any other reason, why should treatment be denied? If parents with AIDS can be given a few more years, perhaps several years or even longer, then their children will be given a much better opportunity for nurturing their survival and development.
Those few years of additional life will be the most precious for all of those parents and children. For those of us who are more fortunate than those dying parents, it is a timely reminder of the sanctity of human life. We should be prepared to give all that we have got, give those families that are stricken by AIDS, those extra few years. Nothing is better for your own well-being than the feeling that "I am contributing practically towards those who are affected by this pandemic." In my country, I approach business and ask them to send children to school high school, university. Generally, I arrange for no less than 300 scholarships per year. That I arrange for a scholarship for a young lady of 20 to go to university. Her results on the tests (Unintelligible) were excellent. She attracted a lot of praise from her lecturers. Then, suddenly, she found that she had AIDS and went to hospital. I was out of the country. And, because she could not pay the hospital charges, I came back and I immediately contacted her. And I asked her to come for lunch, knowing that she's an AIDS sufferer. I was then told, before I could enter the gate, to meet her at the gate. The house (Unintelligible). But after 15 minutes, I asked, where are these people? Eventually, she came with her parents. She could hardly walk, and I said just go straight to the table. And she said, I could hardly hear her talk. And for food, she just took one spoon. And very sadly, had to go from here straight to hospital. And my secretary here (Unintelligible), immediately phoned the hospital, and (Unintelligible). And the doctor in charge phoned me to say that there is very little that we can do. I was devastated. And within a week, because they couldn't do anything, they discharged her. (Unintelligible) My wife and I went to see her. (Unintelligible) Then we arranged for her to have drugs, to have good food. Then I phoned about two weeks later, and a very sharp, strong voice replied. I said, "who is speaking?" She gave me the name same girl. I said, I can't believe that. She was now strong, and my secretary, without even consulting me, had got her a new (Unintelligible), a new (Unintelligible).
I have raised more than 800,000 rand for her, and I send her some money every month so that she can eat properly, she can get all the drugs that she needs. I first send her 500 rand a month, but my wife almost left me in disgust. And she said, we must give her 2,000 a month (Unintelligible).
One of the members of my staff took this money to her, and she had taken the 500 before. She said, I came across a new person, I can't believe that it's the same girl who was written off by the doctors. She is now recovered. There is life after HIV/AIDS.
I have three challenges to put to the world today. The first is to challenge all institutions, public and private, and all their leaders, to make a start on treatment access today, and to make rapid and real progress in achieving access to AIDS treatment for all those that need it.
Wherever they may be in the world. Regardless of whether they can afford to pay or not. We place such a huge emphasis on treatment, quite simply, because treatment will provide hope for the future.
The great tragedy of HIV infection is that most people, surely more than 90 percent, do not know that they are infected with the virus. They continue, unwittingly, to spread the infection. With the hope of treatment, people will have a reason to go for HIV counseling and testing.
But, it must be on an entirely voluntary and confidential basis. [applause] Business must stop humiliating people and testing them openly whether they have HIV or not. All that is required is to talk to people, constantly, to say, "if you don't go for testing, if you have got AIDS and you don't know about it, you are signing your own death warrant. The only way in which you can be saved is if you go for a test, and then accept what the doctor says to you." I believe that this is the single most important prevention tool that we have, because it is the one that is most likely to change behavior.
My second challenge today is to all individuals: you need to establish where you stand in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and you can only do this by being aware of your HIV status. For those of you who are HIV positive, there is hope. You can live with HIV, and the rest of the world cares about you.
The sooner you establish your HIV status, the more you can do for yourself, and the more that can be done for you by others. And if voluntary counseling and testing is not available free of charge where you live, then you must demand it. It is your right to know.
My final challenge today is to the leaders of this world. There is no doubt that strong leadership is the key to an effective response in the war against AIDS. Leadership starts at the top. When the top person is committed, the response is much more effective.
This means not only political leaders, but also business leaders, union leaders, religious leaders, traditional leaders, and the leaders of NGOs. One has to make special mention of the role played by NGOs and the leadership in those organizations. These are often small organizations with meager resources that have made an impact far beyond what would have been expected from their size. One is often moved to reflect that, if only the big institutions of government and business had made a similar effort proportionately, we might very well already have turned the tide of the AIDS pandemic.
In this regard, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other big companies have done very well, by making funds available for us to treat this pandemic. Now, many people are criticizing big business and governments because they are not doing sufficiently. That is one part of it, it is true. But the other part, which many people don't talk about, is our own shortcomings. We have not developed proper strategies to get the money out of them.
President Clinton will tell you that, that as facilitator in Burundi, I asked him for money. He gave it to me on the spot.
That money got finished. I went back to the President of the United States, George Bush, and I said, "I want a million dollars." He gave it to me.
I have gone back to almost every continent and asked for money. For my organization, in Africa alone, I collected 66 million dollars, and you know how poor Africa is.
In the middle east, I collected 73 million dollars, and in Asia, 89 million for my organization, the ANC. Now, I was discussing this morning about the complaints against government, and I was saying, let us look at the strategy that we're using, because if we corrected ourselves, we would be able to succeed more than we do. One of the most difficult things in life is not just to influence others, it is to change your own character.
And we are required to do that today in fighting this pandemic. We must correct our own mistakes. It is good to criticize governments when they are stingy, but you need much more than criticize. I have criticized government openly, but I've gone to the same government I've criticized, and I've said, can you put money in my hand?
People, like brave and courageous men and women, let us not be afraid to criticize and speak up, but, at the same time, let's not be afraid to go to the same people that we criticize and say we have this particular problem, can you give us money? They will respond, subject to what I said this morning to what I was discussing this morning with some people who are criticizing governments and big institutions quite correctly.
But our own strategy must be changed. We have great appreciation for the courageous leadership given by many in all sectors of society, in different parts of the world. At the same time, I wish to repeat the appeal and challenge I have so often made, calling on all leaders in the world today to ask themselves what they have personally done to help diminish the impact of the AIDS pandemic. And whatever they have done, or have not done, to commit themselves to doing more from today. As one who has led almost the entirety of his life in a struggle to build a better world, often against odds that were thought insurmountable, I want to say to all of you who are activists in the war against AIDS, you have my greatest admiration. Keep on fighting, and you will overcome the terrible scourge of human kind.
In Africa, we have a concept known as (Unintelligible), based on the recognition that we are only people because of other people. We are all human, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic affects us all in the end. If we discard the people who are dying from AIDS, then we can no longer call ourselves people.
The time to act is now. We can make a difference. I thank you.
MALE SPEAKER 1: Thank you. Thanks a lot for an extremely nice talk, Honorable Mr. Mandela. We are now approaching the end of this ceremony, and the moment of saying goodbye to the near 7,000 delegates that are here. And I'd like to also just looking to the youth, the youngest delegate was Prakti Gilada (Misspelled?). She is 12 years old, and I would like for her an applause.
My role during this week has been to co-chair this event, and, hopefully, we'll represent a new milestone in the fight against the epidemic. In my real life, however, I am a simple clinician who is very proud of taking care of and treating individual patients. And, so, to be totally honest, I would never have dreamed to address a final remark of an international AIDS conference to such a huge and very committed multidisciplinary audience, and sharing the stage with such big personalities. So, my conclusions as a clinician would have been very quick and very technical. However, during the four years of the preparation of this conference, and particularly during this week, I have also learned that this is not enough by far. So I have reshaped some of my conclusions. Prevention still is the main priority everywhere, and possibly requires a great deal of commitment and a great deal of action and only a reasonable amount of money. But, ladies and gentlemen, prevention and therapy is no longer a duality. They are complementary and should be implemented together everywhere it is needed. Let me also reshape
The message of simplification of therapy by saying that we need a simple and well-tolerated therapy, and this will facilitate enormously its implementation in resource-poor settings. Also, let me add and reinforce, as a number of plenary speakers already did, that access to life-saving medicines are not a gift and not a commodity, but a basic human right. In fact, one of the most basic human rights.
The discussions, advises, and recommendations endorsed by the many world leaders who have participated in the debates and in the sessions of this international AIDS conference, and amplified by the broad media coverage, should be a clear and irreversible message to all public and private agencies about prevention. But also about the simple and affordable antiretroviral therapy and health care for every person who needs it. And, in summary, about respect and empowerment of the basic human rights. But, dear friends, the conference, as I told in the opening address, is not an objective by itself. The real challenge is an effective and successful fight against the AIDS epidemic during the forthcoming months and years. Please, do not wait until Bangkok. Also, please, when you get back home after this week of hard work, work even harder to implement and disseminate the conference messages. Also, convince your local leaders to endorse this message those who are here are already convinced. Please, start translating the knowledge and the commitment into action. Thanks for having been here in Barcelona, and I hope you have enjoyed your stay among us. Gracias por aver estado aqui, multas gracias para vestar a Barcelona (Misspelled?).
MALE SPEAKER 2: Thank you. Authorities from other countries, honorable consaliers (Misspelled?), Mr. Clinton, Honorable Mr. Mandela, Marie (Unintelligible). In Geneva, I was impressed when Bernard Hinchell (Misspelled?) at the closing ceremonies said, "It has been easy, I learned a lot, and I got a lot of help." Now, four years later, I can also say that I got a lot of help. I got a lot of help from the conference secretariat, I got a lot of help from the co-organizers UNAIDS, GMB Place (Misspelled?), ICW, ECASO (Misspelled?), and (Unintelligible). From my family, from my collaborators at the workplace, SESCA (Misspelled?) who, by the way, have almost demonstrated that a group can be run without a director for one year as well as from many local institutions, people living with AIDS, activists, and committed professionals, without whom, of course, this conference would not exist. I thank you all very much, and I also agree that both personally and professionally, I've learned a lot. But easier? Easier, I'm not so sure, Bernard. We think the Barcelona Framework will define one principal translating science into action. And four main objectives: To maintain the scientific level of this conference; to increase the links with the Latin American and Caribbean region; to highlight prevention; and to highlight issues related to intravenous drug users. I do not intend to make an evaluation, but I think together we succeeded in reaching most of these objectives. We had many presentations from the Latin American and the Caribbean region, and that has helped to understand the breadth and the depth of the work that is done in some of these countries. Muchas gracias por compartirlo. Muito obrigado. Merci beaucoup. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Prevention has been present at this conference. Many presentations have demonstrated that prevention should remain a priority, and that treatment and care cannot be addressed separately from prevention. Apart from consolidating the research agenda and advocacy strategies for preventive vaccine and microbicides, the (Unintelligible) presented on many interventions and many different scenarios forces us to expand and to scale them up. It has been shown clearly that social and economical disruption facilitated HIV transmission. We also need to put global development and human rights in the equation if we want preventive and therapeutic interventions to be effective and sustainable. In particular, I am very happy to acknowledge a number of presentations that we had on injecting drug users. There has been an enormous amount of evidence showing that parental transmission is playing a crucial rule in many places, and in places within even our European region, from both East Europe and some former Soviet Union, are good examples of emerging epidemics that you should take care of. Although we agree that the Global Fund initiative can help to push action, this conference has also made clear that the resources mobilized so far are not enough. Reports presented and discussed here show that we need 10 billions, that we could prevent 28 million infections. All that will require much more energy, more partners, and much more commitment from rich countries.
Many people told me that in many sessions they could see an unusual transferency, a tone of constructive dialogue, and advocating for working together. Moreover, the conference structure and the very active participation of political leaders have facilitated the creation and strengthening of networks across sectors. We also want you in this conference. Overall, I think the conference has given a boost to programmatic and policy issues. It has created a response and a consensus regarding the scale and the characteristics of the response that we need now, as well as a sense of global partnership. In terms of research agenda, in terms of resource mobilization, or in terms of alliances between public and private sectors, it is now so evident that it will be very difficult to go backwards. We are 15,000 here. Let us go home and lead advocacy for equity and human rights. But also, for safe injecting and safe sex.
As Gott (Misspelled?) said a long time ago, knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. And we must do now. Thank you very much, it has been an honor to host you here.
MALE SPEAKER 1: Well, ladies and gentlemen, now is the moment of timeline, is the moment to think about the conference of Bangkok. And is my honor and my great pleasure to call to the stage the Deputy Prime Minister, (Unintelligible) Adisalan (Misspelled?). Mr. Adisalan.
MR. ADISALAN: President Bill Clinton, President Nelson Mandela, co-chairpersons of the 14th International AIDS Conference, excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of the Thai National AIDS Committee and the people of Thailand, I feel most privileged and honored that the International AIDS Society has chosen Bangkok, Thailand, to host the International AIDS Conference in 2004. Asia is where one-half of the world's population lives, as well as home to one-fourth of the world's new HIV infections. For this reason, there is still a crucial need for urgent action, a response to the epidemic, in the developing world. Especially in Asia, where there is much potential for the devastating spread of the epidemic. I am, therefore, very pleased to announce that the coming conference will be the very first International AIDS Conference ever held in a developing country in Asia.
And, so, I thank the members of the International AIDS Society for their trust in Thailand, as well as their confidence in Thailand's ability to host such an important and colossal event. Thailand has been mentioned many times in past international AIDS conference, not only in connection with the catastrophic epidemic, but also in relation to many successful programs and research projects in the area of prevention, (Unintelligible) counseling, and testing, comprehensive and continuum care, and, recently, the vaccine trials. Among the most famous programs that Thailand is involved in, however, are the 100 percent condom promotion program and the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV through a short-course antiretroviral regimen, which, today, serve as models for many developing countries around the world.
Over the years, we have also seen many important achievements in collaboration. We call it "Strength through Unity." Primary sectors of Thai society, including governmental and nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, the media, and, most importantly, the community members themselves. It is important to listen to local responses and to include community participation in forming culturally appropriate and realistic solutions in combating the AIDS epidemic. The AIDS crisis has indeed provided an opportunity for our society to improve our ability to face emerging challenges with less difficulty. In relating to the them of this year's conference, "Knowledge and Commitment for Action," I wish to offer the commitment of my country to deliver a forum for knowledge and informational exchange of real situations and experiences, especially from the developing world. I also commit to provide an opportunity for networking for all, including those living with HIV/AIDS, and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
In Thailand we have no laws that discriminate, differentiate or categorize people living with HIV/AIDS. The uniqueness of Thai society is that we are hospitable and compassionate people. These characteristics decode (Unintelligible) into the protection of rights of people living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. We encourage people living with HIV/AIDS to live and work in mainstream society, including playing important roles in deciding national HIV/AIDS policy.
Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. May I take this moment to respond to the request made by Miss Marie Bock (Misspelled?) from Haiti? I will personally see to it that Miss Bock's requests be met in Bangkok.
Thailand may not be a rich country, economically speaking, but we consider ourselves very rich in terms of tradition and culture that date back centuries. And so I welcome all of you to the land of smiles, and offer my best wishes that your experience in our kingdom will be beneficial and satisfying, when we meet again in Thailand for the 15th International AIDS Conference in 2004. Thank you very much.
MALE SPEAKER 1: To conclude this ceremony, and to call political and community leaders, I would like now to call Miss Sandra Thurman (Misspelled?), Director of the International AIDS Trust, who has helped us in putting together this ceremony. And to Shaun Mellors (Misspelled?), who has shared the community component of our program, traveling back and forth from Barcelona to many other places of the world, has been a clear reference for our project.
SANDRA THURMAN: Thanks so much, Jordi. You know, it's been said that when the spirit awakens it can transform the world, but that it does not awaken without a challenge. Leadership against AIDS is the Barcelona challenge, and we must seize the moment. Leadership brings power to opportunity; leadership puts vision into action; leadership saves lives. We desperately need enlightened and invigorated leaders at all levels and in all sectors of society to talk the talk, walk the walk, and march forward together. For the first time ever at an International AIDS Conference, presidents, prime ministers, first ladies, princesses, people living with AIDS, principal investigators, program administrators, policy advocates, and activists all joined forces to change the course of history.
This week, political leaders from around the world put their courage, commitment, and clout behind the call for far more aggressive action against AIDS, and to help build the political will needed to turn the tide. So as we prepare to say goodbye to Barcelona, and set our sights on Thailand, let us affirm our commitment to leadership and partnership by calling to the stage political and community leaders that have united in the fight against AIDS in this conference. To recognize the community leaders, my friend Shaun.
SHAUN MELLORS: Mtate mteba (Misspelled?), Mr. Clinton. I am HIV positive. I am fortunate to be able to say that I am HIV positive. Some people are not in a position to say that they are HIV positive. It is time for us to move from political rhetoric to political action, and part of that action involves the voices of the community. It gives me pleasure to introduce some of the community leaders, some who are positive, some who are affected, but all who have a strong voice. From the global network of people living with HIV and AIDS, Rachel Charles from Grenada, Chaidl Petraza (Misspelled?) from America, Brenton Wong, Singapore. From the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations, Dr. Stanislav Kazikhin (Misspelled?) from Russia, Marianne Torres from Venezuela, (Unintelligible) Canada, and what I believe to be the youngest conference participant, Isabella, only four months old, and Dauda (Unintelligible) from Senegal. From the international community of women living with HIV and AIDS, Selena da Costa from India, Patricia Perez, Argentina, Martina Sonda (Misspelled?), Burkina Faso. From (Misspelled?), Jordi Lopez, Maria Jose, Luis (Unintelligible), and the person that President Clinton referred to in his speech, John Ebequai sp] from Nigeria. We salute you, we commit it, and we continue the struggle.
SANDRA THURMAN: I would now like to call to the stage a group of political leaders and champions in the fight against AIDS, and ask that these world leaders come join our co-chairs of the International AIDS Trust former Bill Clinton former President Bill Clinton, I don't think he's former Bill Clinton former President Bill Clinton and former President Nelson Mandela. First of all, His Excellency, Paul Kgame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. Next, His Excellency Denzel Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, and chair of the group of heads of state from the Caribbean on HIV and AIDS. [applause] The Honorable Ali Hassan Mwinye (Misspelled?), former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, who talked to us about safe sex yesterday, I want you to know. [applause] The Right Honorable Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada. The Honorable I.K. Guzhrol (Misspelled?), former Prime Minister of India. The Honorable Jeannette Kgame, First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda. The Honorable Maureen Mwanawasa, First Lady of Zambia. [applause] Her Royal Highness Ratana Debi Daratum (Misspelled?), Princess of Cambodia. We'd also like to ask the Honorable Gwasha Michelle (Misspelled?) to join us on the stage. [applause] And another the stage would be empty without, Dr. Peter Piot, Director of UNAIDS. Peter, would you please join us on the stage.
We couldn't be leaders without you, Adam. As Ghandi said, we must become the change we want to see. And as we leave Barcelona together, united against AIDS, let us do just that. Thank you all so much.
One more leader we need to introduce: Miss Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who is working at the WHO this summer. [applause] We also would love to ask to the stage DuBlanc (Misspelled?) the President of IAS, please. Please join us on the stage?
MALE SPEAKER: And now we will all go on together for the last picture of the ceremony. And the (Unintelligible) will just be sending all the desires that you have been providing during the week. Please, we can start moving now.
MALE SPEAKER 3: Once again, thank you to our honorable speakers and distinguished guests in this closing ceremony. Ladies and gentlemen, after the following video projection, you're invited to the esplanade outside to witness how the wishes made by the participants in the 14th International AIDS Conference take flight, with the hope of building a present and future of knowledge, commitment, and action against AIDS. Woody Allen once said, "I'm very interested in the future because it's where I'm going to spend the rest of my life." So let's start building the future right here, right now. The glass globe, handed over to Thailand during the ceremony, as fragile as dreams themselves, evokes those wishes which we hope will come true by the time we arrive in Bangkok. I leave you now with the "Welcome to Bangkok, AIDS 2004" video, and look forward to seeing you outside. Once again, thank you for your participation, and a safe journey home. Thank you.
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