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Education, compassion fight AIDS, first lady tells Africans

Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press

First lady Laura Bush, addressing a group of her African peers about the AIDS crisis on their continent, said Thursday that education and compassion were the keys to progress in stopping the spread of the deadly disease.

"Experience teaches us that we can turn the tide on this epidemic," Bush told the opening ceremony of the General Assembly of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS. "Compassion calls us to work in partnership to alleviate suffering around the world because of HIV/AIDS."

She was introduced at the Manhattan meeting by Jeanette Kagame, wife of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The organization of African first ladies was founded in 2002 to find solutions for the AIDS problem in Africa, home to the world's largest population of people with HIV/AIDS.