World AIDS Day Marks Day of Both Sadness and Hope, Says Bush

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President Bush says World AIDS Day marks a day of both sadness and hope. Mr. Bush spoke after he and First Lady Laura Bush took part in a meeting at a church in the U.S. state of Maryland Friday, ahead of World AIDS Day, which is marked around the world each year on December 1.

He said those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS are mourned, while World AIDS Day also marks the hope for improvements in the lives of those who are infected and in eradicating the disease.

He also announced he and Mrs. Bush will travel to Africa early next year.

In a statement for World AIDS Day, the head of UNAIDS, Peter Piot, said there is still a serious shortfall in resources for AIDS, and stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease continue to prevail.

UNAIDS last week lowered its estimate of worldwide HIV infections, saying 32.7 million people were living with the virus in 2006 - nearly seven million fewer than previously estimated. - VOA News

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