UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on people ahead of World AIDS Day on Friday to hold their leaders accountable and to keep momentum strong in the fight against AIDS.
At a public commemoration ceremony held at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York on Thursday, Annan told the audience that the virus, which has killed 25 million people and infected 40 million more, is "the greatest challenge of our generation," but noted changing attitudes in the last decade.
"Financial resources are being committed like never before, people have access to antiretroviral treatment like never before, and several countries are managing to fight the spread like never before," the secretary-general said. "Now, as the number of infections continues unabated, we need to mobilize like never before."
Continuing the push against the growing epidemic requires "every president and prime minister, every parliamentarian and politician, to declare that 'AIDS stops with me,"' he said.