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Mandela Praised for Publicizing Son's Death from AIDS

  • VOA News

The announcement made front page news in many papers, including the Johannesburg Star, which lauded the elder statesman in an editorial for his courageous decision.

Hours after 54-year-old Makgatho Mandela passed away on Thursday, Mr. Mandela held a press conference, reporting his son's death and urging the public to treat AIDS like any other disease.

Activists from South Africa's leading anti-AIDS group, the Treatment Action Campaign, called the move a step forward. The gorup has sharply criticized the government for being slow to respond to the pandemic, which affects an estimated one in nine people in South Africa.

Opposition politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who has also gone public with AIDs deaths in his family, also lauded Mr. Mandela, saying his announcement will break the silence and taboo surrounding AIDS.

And the United Nations AIDS agency (UNAIDS) says Mr. Mandela's leadership will impact international efforts to fight the stigma and discrimination suffered by those with HIV and AIDS.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters, AFP and SAPA.

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