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28 June, 2001
AIDS is a global problem, which knows no borders and is a clear challenge for the international community, which requires global action, Greece's permanent representative at the UN Elias Gounaris said, addressing the General Assembly's special session on the devastating repercussions of the disease on Tuesday.
Among others, Gounaris said the cruel reality of this global epidemic necessitates pushing aside personal beliefs and prejudices, while dignified care should be provided for people suffering from AIDS, and sensitive social groups in particular, including refugees and immigrants.
He also said equality between the genders should be promoted, as well as the strengthening of women's social and family status, to avoid attitudes endangering their health.
Poverty should also be contained, he added, because the poor are the most vulnerable and less equipped to handle the epidemic and an international society should be created based on solidarity.
The Health ministry general director and representatives of non-governmental organizations attending the session pointed out that Greece can be considered a pioneer in the struggle against AIDS as it was the first among European countries to establish blood controls since 1985.
Source: Athens News Agency