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Leadership Like Mandela’s Can Help Transform HIV/AIDS Epidemic Globally

“We are indebted to [Nelson] Mandela for his leadership role in making HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa an issue that the world could no longer ignore. Mr. Mandela’s speech at the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2000 changed the course of the epidemic in both his country and the continent,” Sharon Lewin, a professor at Monash University and local co-chair of the XX International AIDS Conference (AIDS2014), writes in the Huffington Post U.K.’s “Impact” blog. “I can’t help thinking that the kind of political leadership he demonstrated on the epidemic is sorely needed in the Asia Pacific today if we are to even get close to universal access to treatment, prevention and care for those most affected by HIV/AIDS,” she states. “Even in these tough economic times, it is this kind of vision and leadership being shown by President Obama that I hope will continue to transform the epidemic globally. Just as Nelson Mandela did for Africa. Just as Doa Aung San Suu Kyi is doing in her beloved Burma. If only we had leaders like this in every century … and in every country,” she concludes (12/17).