Albright Says World
Is Losing Fight
Against AIDS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who sees AIDS as a threat to global security, said on Thursday the world was losing the fight against the deadly disease.
In a statement released ahead of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, she said President Bill Clinton's administration had rightly made fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS a foreign policy priority.
But she also warned that with 10,000 people infected each day, 3 million dying a year, and 36 million living with the disease, this ``staggering litany of loss'' meant there was no time to rest.
``For despite the heroic efforts of so many, we are not winning the war against AIDS; we are losing it,'' she said in a statement.
``In Africa, experts predict that in years to come tens of millions of children will be orphaned; infant mortality will double; and in many countries, average life expectancy will decline by two decades or more,'' she added.
She said only a global effort with gutsy leadership, backed by donors and ``caring people everywhere'' would turn the tide and ``transform AIDS from a menace into a memory''.
Clinton has said that while the United States was making progress fighting AIDS at home, it must do more to fight the disease worldwide.
The United States is the biggest bilateral donor of HIV/AIDS aid, investing $1 billion in 75 developing countries in the last decade in prevention, education and treatment efforts.
This compares to a $310 billion annual U.S. defense budget.
U.S. assistance of $225 million this year accounted for nearly half of the multilateral and bilateral overseas development funding for the disease.
Congress had appropriated $460 million for fighting this and other deadly infectious diseases for fiscal year 2001.

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