|© UNICEF/2005/ Salgado|
|The team of youth journalists at the launch in El Salvador.|
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, 11 November 2005 – The UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign in the Latin American and Caribbean region was launched here today. The campaign seeks to focus attention on the devastating impact of AIDS on children and young people in the region.
Representatives of UNICEF, UNAIDS, and other partners warned that the efforts currently being made in Latin America are still insufficient to halt the spread of the disease.
“Twenty-five years into the pandemic, AIDS continues to tear apart families and communities, leaving behind 15 million orphans and robbing countries of their future,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot. “If countries are to develop, we must put children first. Children must therefore be a major priority when it comes to the way we allocate and use resources.”
|© UNICEF/2005/ Moraga|
|UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot and UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Nils Kastberg, at the campaign launch, which took place as part of the first-ever Central American Presidential Summit on HIV/AIDS.|
‘Include us in the fight’
UNICEF Regional Director Nils Kastberg said: “Today we know what must be done to halt the pandemic – provide universal access to quality antiretroviral drug, access to education, condoms, health services, counselling, and voluntary testing, especially for adolescents and pregnant women.
“Societies must come together in the face of this emergency that threatens not only individuals, but also the very social fabric of our countries,” said Mr. Kastberg.
Also speaking at the launch was 16-year-old Panamanian activist Isabel Pimentel. She called on governments and international agencies to combat the taboos and discrimination that undermine efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. “They say we’re the missing face of the problem, but we’re not missing! Here we are, your daughters and sons, your students, your neighbours, your citizens! Include us in the fight against AIDS!”
The launch took place as part of the first-ever Central American Presidential Summit on HIV/AIDS.
Global launch highlights
Latin America & Caribbean
United Arab Emirates
HIV/AIDS campaign links