(05-31-2003) Bono Calls On Chirac To Fight AIDS - AFP * - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-31-2003, 03:01 PM   #1
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(05-31-2003) Bono Calls On Chirac To Fight AIDS - AFP *


Rock star Bono wants French leader Chirac to launch drive against AIDS

PARIS (AFP) - Irish rock singer Bono called on French President Jacques Chirac use the G8 summit of industrialised countries set to begin in Evian to take a decisive step in the fight against the spread of AIDS.

"Today, as every day in Africa, 9,500 people will contract the (AIDS) virus and 6,500 will die of it for lack of drugs that in our countries are within our reach," the U2 front man said in an article published in the Figaro newspaper Saturday.

In his article Bono, known for his commitment to humanitarian causes, said it was essential to bring "a historic response to a spreading scourge of biblical proportions."

At a moment when the rich countries are preoccupied with the need to protect themselves against terrorism, he said it was "difficult not to see the implications of the destruction of the African family, the African economy and African hope in terms of security."

Bono said he was convinced that if Chirac, whom he met earlier this year to argue his case, succeeded in getting the G8 to declare publicly that the AIDS epidemic in Africa constituted an emergency, "the whole world will get to its feet, will applaud and will spontaneously offer its help."

His appeal was echoed by the Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF - Doctors without Frontiers) organisation which called Saturday on the G8 countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States) to do more to combat infectious diseases in the developing world.

"The member states meeting this weekend in Evian bear a heavy responsibility in their failure to fight against infectious diseases," MSF said in a statement.

"Developing countries are increasingly confronted by very serious health problems: the number of young people under the age of 15 infected with HIV/AIDS has more than tripled in the last three years: the number of children dying of malaria in Africa has multiplied by five over the same period," it said.
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