|A red AIDS ribbon is formed by nearly 300 UN employees on the lawn of UN’s North Garden, 30 May 2006.|
By Kun Li
NEW YORK, USA, 31 May 2006 – Twenty-five years after HIV/AIDS was first diagnosed, the virus shows no sign of letting up. Tens of millions of people have died as a result, leaving 15 million children orphaned.
Yesterday at United Nations headquarters in New York, some 300 UN employees formed a huge red ribbon, reminding the world that unless more urgent action is taken, lives will continue to be lost in the battle against AIDS.
“For someone living with HIV as I am, I have to say that we have not done enough,” said UNAIDS Special Representative Mary Fisher, who has been living with HIV since 1991.
|© UNICEF/HQ06-0612/Allison Scott|
|At the red ribbon event (left to right): UNAIDS Special Representatives Mary Fisher and Naomi Watts, and UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot.|
Millions still need help
“We have done marvellous things,” continued Ms. Fisher. “We have come up with medications, treatment, as well as hope – these are all very good. But it’s still not enough. People still believe HIV can’t happen to them, stigma and discrimination are still there and we have millions of orphans who need our help.”
Ms. Fisher was joined in the UN’s North Garden by staff from UNAIDS, UNICEF and other agencies who had volunteered to form a human AIDS ribbon by carrying red umbrellas. Actress and UNAIDS Special Representative Naomi Watts and UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot also participated in the event.
Today, nearly 40 million people are living with HIV. According to the newly released UNAIDS 2006 ‘Report on the global AIDS epidemic’, the spread of AIDS is slowing globally but new infections are continuing to increase in some regions, and the disease remains an exceptional threat.
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