Well respected for his fervent devotion to human rights, Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela urged cooperation and immediate action in the global struggle against tuberculosis, a situation which is extremely acute in parts of the developing world. In his remarks, Mandela also related the struggle with tuberculosis to the situation with preventing the spread of HIV. Speaking to reporters at an international conference in Bangkok, Mandela remarked that "We cannot win the battle against AIDS if we do not also fight TB. TB is too often a death sentence for people with AIDS. It does not have to be this way." Mandela knows all too well about the situation with TB, as he himself contracted the disease during his time as a political prisoner in South Africa during apartheid. Research into the dual tuberculosis and AIDS epidemic received a large infusion of funding this Thursday as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that the organization would offer $45 million for studies into strategies to control TB in areas with high HIV infection rates. Specifically, the monies will go to pay for three large-scale community studies in Africa and South American over seven years.
The first link will take visitors to an article from the Voice of America, complete with an audio report from reporter Steve Baragona reporting from Bangkok on the XV International AIDS Conference. The second link leads to an article from the Sydney Morning Herald that talks about the recent grant offered by the Gates Foundation to the Global Fund on AIDS. The third link leads to the homepage of the Center for TB Research Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University where visitors can read about the lab's work and learn about the need for additional research into this disease. The fourth link leads visitors to the Stop TB Partnership webpage, which is hosted by the World Health Organization. Visitors may want to peruse some of the helpful publications, such as reports on global tuberculosis control and the event calendar. The fifth link leads to the homepage for the XV International AIDS Conference, which features full coverage of the conference in Bangkok, video coverage of the various sessions, and updated news from the conference. The final link leads to a rather intriguing five-part radio series on the life and times of Nelson Mandela, sponsored by the American Radio Works. The remarkable highlights of this series include interviews with former African National Congress activists, fellow Robben Island prisoners, and a rare recording of the 1964 trial where Mandela was sentenced to life in prison.