Monitor: International opinion on the occasion of World Aids Day

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FOR SOUTH Africa, which now has the fastest rate of Aids infection in sub-Saharan Africa, this threatens to become a national disaster. Our resources are limited and there have been differences over strategy. But on one strategy we should be united: our most potent weapon is to spread awareness of how it is transmitted. That weapon should be wielded fearlessly and relentlessly by all in the years ahead.

Cape Argus, South Africa

WORLD AIDS Day is an opportunity to renew our commitment to eradicating HIV. Today, that final victory seems more distant and elusive than ever; but someday, if we persevere, we can achieve it. Remembrance, gratitude, and commitment can provide the energy and determination this effort will require, until the day when the bells ring and the prayers rise to celebrate the end of the epidemic.

The Charlotte Observer, US

IN AFRICA alone, over 21 million people live with HIV. It orphans children, cripples public health systems and disrupts economies. The UN's top Aids official has suggested that foreign debt repayments be steered to prevention if the poorest countries are to safeguard their populations. Aids is a plague by any measure.

San Francisco Chronicle, US

A NEW HIV infection occurs every six seconds. In Asia, millions are infected. The disease has begun to undermine the economies in Africa and Asia. Besides loss of life, business is being crippled and natural resources overwhelmed. With little of the financial and human capital of developed nations, the Third World faces an insuperable task. So it's fitting that today the world unites in a quest for survival.

Miami Herald, US

THE WORLD is reluctant to provide the means to stamp out the epidemic. Means exist but people refuse point-blank to put them to effect: wealthy America is certainly not short on syringes but Congress has banned the distribution of them among junkies. One day isn't too much to stop and reflect and think of those who suffer and who will suffer. That day is today.

Tribune de Geneve, Switzerland