Annan meets young patients at Russian AIDS clinic

Annan meets young patients at Russian AIDS clinic

Meeting today with young AIDS patients at a clinic in Russia, Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed the need to galvanize society in response to the epidemic.

After hearing presentations by youth at the SANAM clinic, which works at preventing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among vulnerable populations, including street children, the Secretary-General said their needs had come through very clearly. "The whole society has to be mobilized, to get involved," he stressed.

The youth reported a dramatic rise in HIV infections in Russia, which has nearly 200,000 registered cases, and suggested that the actual figure was up to six times that much.

Thanking those involved for their work, Mr. Annan hailed the involvement of Russian youngsters in the fight against HIV/AIDS. "I am very happy that so many young people are involved in the struggle, because children listen to their peers much more than the old ones with grey hair," he said.