UNAIDS grieves over death of Nkosi Johnson

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The joint UN programme on HIV/AIDS Friday expressed sorrow over the death of South African AIDS activist, 12-year-old Nkosi Johnson, saying "we have lost a champion, a hero in the fight against AIDS".
"Nkosi symbolised hope and will continue to do so for millions of people affected by AIDS," UNAIDS said in a release.
Little Johnson, who died on Friday in his sleep, was a leading campaigner for the promotion of the rights of people living with and AIDS.
In his short life, Johnson strove hard for the removal of stigma and discrimination that so many people suffer as a result of HIV/AIDS, it said.
It recalled that Johnson's call at the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban in July 2000 for HIV-positive people to be treated equally "will be remembered in history as a turning point in the fight against AIDS.
" "Nkosi has shown that individuals can make a difference," UNAIDS emphasised, noting that "his leadership and courage will be missed by all of us in the global effort to halt the spread of AIDS.
" It added that Nkosi's life and death, like many others who silently die as a result of AIDS each day, bring home the urgency of the tasks that still need to be done.
In this moment of sorrow, UNAIDS said, "our thoughts and prayers are with Nkosi's mother, Ms Gail Johnson, her family and their many friends and colleagues all over the world.
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01 june 2001 14:19:00




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