Press Releases

    SG/SM/9619
    AIDS/86
    30 November 2004

    Secretary-General’s Message to Anti-HIV/AIDS Group Hails Leadership, Integrity, Courage of Young People in Struggle against Disease

    NEW YORK, 29 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to Dance4Life, in Cape Town on 27 November 2004, as delivered by Nafis Sadik, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific:

    Young people are the key to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  More than half of those newly infected with HIV today are between 15 and 24 years old.  The future course of the epidemic depends on how well we can advance effective prevention among them, and ensure that treatment reaches those who are infected.

    Already, young people are a driving force in this struggle.  Where politicians fail to act, young people continually demonstrate the leadership and integrity needed to put AIDS on the agenda.  While many adults seek the refuge of denial, young people have the courage to face the issue head-on.  They are the ones who know best how to communicate and join together in a common cause.  They are the ones who understand how to harness the power of information technology to a globally interconnected movement against HIV/AIDS. 

    Dance4Life is a wonderful example of how the talent and strength of young people can energize our struggle.  It is in such mobilization of young people that the real heroes and heroines of the war against AIDS are to be found.  It is our job to furnish them with knowledge and with hope.  Let them move!  Let them dance!

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