UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS Monday the international community is not doing enough to battle the pandemic.
He said nations must drastically step up the war against the scourge if there is to be any hope of starting to reduce the scale and impact of the epidemic by 2005, as pledged in the 2001 Declaration of Commitment. He added that several of this year's goals already have been missed.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was more positive, saying, "Our task remains enormous, yet important progress has been made."
He cited increases in contributions to the Global Fund against infectious diseases and also said there have been changes in attitudes.
"Like all great evils, AIDS feeds on ignorance and fear," he said. "More and more public figures are speaking out, shattering the silence that kills. They are sending the message that people living with AIDS should not be treated with cruelty and discrimination, but instead with dignity and with compassion."