Mandela the star at world AIDS forum


BANGKOK: Nelson Mandela yesterday took centre stage at the world AIDS forum, hoping to reinvigorate activists after rows between key global players over the best way to fight the pandemic. 

“Tuberculosis remains ignored. Today we are calling the world to recognise that we can't fight AIDS unless we take on TB as well,” Mandela said at a press conference, where the Bill Gates charity unveiled a US$44.7mil (RM169.8mil) grant to help fight TB. 

His appearance is the undoubted highlight of a conference that has been riven with disagreements over the US role in fighting the pandemic.  

On another note, condoms packaged with a hint of humour and tailored towards specific cultural groups have proved an imaginative solution to help stem the spread of AIDS, said a family planning charity.  

Using provocative marketing – “Snakes are dangerous in the bush, cover its head so it won't bite you” – the Marie Stopes International charity targeted Australia's Aboriginal community in its first condom campaign for a developed country. 

The marketing of the “Snake” condoms, packaged in the red, black and yellow of the Australian aboriginal flag, has sparked both comment and sales, according to spokesman Rachel Molloy. 

“Young aboriginals told us they saw condoms as a white man thing and not culturally relevant,” she said. 

Molloy said the charity had also had a runaway success in India with its “Fire” branded condoms. – AFP  

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