Richard Gere: fighting aids more important than Tibet issue
July 14, 2004
BANGKOK — Hollywood movie star Richard Gere said Tuesday the AIDS fight
was more important to him than the Tibet issue, adding he had wept
for the plight of infected youths since arriving here for a global
"I found myself in the last few days getting very teary about
this and in the middle of the night I started crying and it all
came back to me," Gere told reporters at the 15th International
AIDS Conference which began Sunday.
"This has been a very emotional time for me, it has kind of
snuck up on me," said Gere, adding that many of his friends in the
entertainment world had been infected by the deadly virus.
The Buddhist movie star said that while he remained firmly
committed to his much publicised campaign for an independent Tibet
and his support for its exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama,
AIDS was the biggest single threat to the planet.
"The most important (issue) is this one, to this planet, to this
time and place is AIDS," he said.
Gere made the comments during a discussion on AIDS awareness and
the media, taking a swipe at tough media censorship on condom
awareness under the Bush administration.
"We may well have hopefully another administration in about four
months in the US and along with that some sanity on this subject,"
The actor is one of a handful of celebrities including US soul
singer Dionne Warwick, British actor Rupert Everett, Australian
Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins and Hong Kong singer Coco Lee who
have joined about 17,000 delegates at the AIDS summit, which is
entitled "Access for All".
Some 38 million people are currently living with HIV and the UN
has warned of an explosion in cases in Asia and Eastern Europe
unless immediate action is taken. – Sapa-AFP
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