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“On the final day of a special session on the fight against H.I.V. and AIDS, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan delivered a gloomy assessment, saying the world was losing the battle.“The epidemic continues to outpace us,” he told a jam-packed session of the General Assembly today. “There are more new infections than ever before; more deaths than ever before; more women and girls infected than ever before.”

Mr. Annan, who is from Ghana and has made fighting H.I.V. a priority of his tenure, acknowledged some areas of progress since the last U.N. special session on AIDS in 2001: seven times as many people around the world now have access to treatment, he said, and in some African nations, the rate of infection is declining.

But he said that if countries “don’t step up the fight drastically,” the world would not be able to “reverse the tide.” He called the spread of the disease “the single greatest reversal in the history of human development.” [More]

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