At the end of the 17. World AIDS Conference in Mexico, politicians and aid organizations have called for more financial commitment in the fight against the immunodeficiency disease. Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, speaking in Berlin on Friday, called on donor countries to cancel debts. In this way, developing countries should have more funds for more programs.
The Left faction called it a "disgrace" that rich states were not releasing much-needed funds. The German Red Cross pointed out that increased food prices were further aggravating the situation of the sick, especially in Africa. Of the 33 million people infected with HIV, 90 percent live in developing countries, according to the UN. About 70 percent will not receive therapy. International aid organization World Vision said in Mexico City that the fight against AIDS must be advanced through combined strategies. Joachim Ruppel of the aid organization Misereor said in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA) that, in addition to comprehensive prevention work and a functioning health system, human rights are a central key to solving the problem. Social inequality is linked to the spread of HIV, conference panel says. The Protestant relief organization "Bread for the World" called for full human rights to be granted to all groups affected by AIDS. The situation is made worse, he said, when those affected are driven underground or stigmatized too much. The president of the Lutheran World Federation, Bishop Mark Hanson, called on the churches to allow people with HIV to be considered full members of church congregations. The development policy spokeswoman of the Green Party in the Bundestag, Ute Koczy, criticized the role of the Catholic Church in Latin America, the host continent: "Those who rely only on abstinence and fidelity as the key in the fight against HIV/AIDS and reject the condom as protection against infection, unfortunately act past the reality and the irresponsible sexual behavior of many Latin American men."Such an attitude is unworldly. At the conference, more than 20.000 scientists, politicians and AIDS activists on effective action against immunodeficiency disease. The ie at stake was the strengthening of the health infrastructure as well as treatment and prevention. Topics also included the promotion of human rights and equitable access to aid.