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African Leaders Renew Commitment To Providing HIV Treatment, Prevention Services

“African leaders meeting on the sidelines of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly called [Wednesday] for innovative solutions to accelerate the response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to advance health for people on the continent,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “At their meeting at U.N. Headquarters, the leaders discussed the African Union (A.U.) Roadmap, which outlines long-term sustainable strategies to finance and provide access to HIV treatment and prevention services and other health services in Africa as called for in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” the news service writes, adding, “Leaders echoed the need for strong political leadership and enhanced country ownership and, as a first step, agreed to accelerate the implementation of the Roadmap, according to a news release issued by UNAIDS” (9/26).

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the meeting, concluding, “If every nation devastated by HIV follows the example of many of the leaders in this room and steps up to shared responsibility, we won’t just keep up our momentum; we will accelerate our progress and move even faster toward the day when we can announce the birth of an AIDS-free generation,” according to the speech transcript (9/26). The U.N. News Centre reports, “In a related development, the health of thousands of mothers and children in North Africa and the Middle East will receive a boost with a new initiative aimed at the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.” Part of a more global program supported by the WHO and UNICEF, the regional initiative is scheduled to be launched in Cairo on October 2, the news service notes (9/26).