WASHINGTON, DC Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, agreed today to join forces with former President William Jefferson Clinton to Co-Chair the Advisory Board of the International AIDS Trust.
Sandra L. Thurman, President of the International AIDS Trust (IAT) said, The commitment of Presidents Mandela and Clinton to lead the advisory board of the International AIDS Trust sends a strong message that the global battle against AIDS must be addressed. Thurman added that, The effective leadership of these two former Presidents will help to build a bridge of understanding and commitment to bring an end to the worst plague our world has ever known.
Africa currently is the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic with an estimated 6,000 people dying of HIV/AIDS related causes everyday. By the year 2010, 40 million African children will be orphaned by of AIDS. In South Africa alone, 50% of the 15 year olds will die of AIDS. Globally, an estimated 22 million people have died of AIDS since the pandemic began and 500,000 become infected with HIV every month.
To date the members of IATs Advisory Board chaired by Presidents Mandela and Clinton include Grammy award-winning singer, composer, producer Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, Coretta Scott King, political activist Mary Fisher, former Congressman Ron Dellums, and Senior Vice President of Sun International Gerald Inzerillo.
The International AIDS Trust, based in Washington, DC, was established to create strategic opportunities for galvanizing leadership, mobilizing resources, and promoting effective interventions in the global battle against AIDS. The International AIDS Trust is a single-focused non-governmental organization (NGO) with both long-range vision and rapid-response capability. Most recently, the IAT launched the Family Care and Support Project in Rwanda which not only helps HIV+ mothers to deliver HIV- babies, but provides basic healthcare and support services to the entire family. Last spring IAT facilitated the first-ever Summit of African First Ladies on AIDS. The summit led to the creation of the African First Ladies Alliance Against HIV/AIDS whose mission is to focus attention on the impact of the pandemic on women and children, to foster youth prevention efforts and to provide support for families affected by HIV in Africa.