Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, has issued a call to world leaders to take action to accelerate a decline in new HIV infections through activism that promotes prevention measures.
"HIV prevention activism is indispensable to overcome the epidemic," said Tutu, the former leader of South Africa's Anglicans, in a statement to mark World AIDS Day on 1 December 2010.
"Communities must receive the support and encouragement they need to mobilise against the epidemic with courage and fearless commitment," he declared.
Dr Tutu is a co-chair of the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention alongside Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, a French virologist.
A declaration released by the co-chairs warned that ebbing financial investments, lack of political commitment and ineffective prevention priorities are challenging progress in achieving significant decline in new HIV infections.
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]