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BMJ. 2000 Jul 22;321(7255):193.

Mandela restores morale of AIDS conference.



During the 13th international AIDS conference in Durban, former president Nelson Mandela pulled the morale of the conference highlighting the need to confront the needs and concerns of those suffering and dying of HIV/AIDS in South Africa, mostly in sub-Saharan. He also stated that to challenge the grave threat posed by HIV and AIDS, efforts should be combined to save the people. This concluding remark was in direct contrast to the opening words of South Africa's current president, Thabo Mbeki, who failed to deal with the impression he has created internationally that he has doubts about the etiology of AIDS. In addition, the need to focus on the accessibility and affordability of treatment for HIV/AIDS or the opportunistic infections associated with it was highlighted. The conference focused on this issue with the help of AIDS activists, who emphasized that pharmaceutical companies needed to address how their drugs could reach those who most need them.

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