Former US president Bill Clinton has told a world AIDS conference in Melbourne that an AIDS-free generation is within reach.
Mr Clinton addressed the audience about the future for the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS. He said every year another 2 million people are infected with HIV, including 20,000 children a month. But he said achievements made in the fight against AIDS should not be an excuse for people to rest on their laurels.
“The AIDS-free world that so many of you have worked to build is just over the horizon. We just need to step up the pace,” he said.
“We are on a steady march to rid the world of AIDS.” Mr Clinton said one of the biggest challenges the international community faces was the early detection of HIV. “New data from 51 countries suggests 70 per cent of HIV-related deaths could have been prevented.” he said. “The evidence continues to build that early treatment helps prevent further transmission.”
His speech was briefly interrupted by protesters calling for new financial taxes to support the fight against AIDS. “Give them a hand and ask them to let the rest of us talk,” Mr Clinton said as the protesters continued to interrupt his speech.
First Published on ABC.net.au