Mandela's HIV/Aids treatment legacy
13 December 2013 Last updated at 10:50 GMT
In February 1990 when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. HIV/Aids had yet to make its full impact on South Africa.
Following his election as president four years later, Mr Mandela faced huge challenges and - like so many other world leaders at the time - failed to fully understand the depth of the problem and did little to help those with Aids.
It was not until he left office that he eventually became a dedicated and extremely effective advocate for a more vigorous approach to the disease.
Fergal Keane reports from a HIV/Aids shelter in the Eastern Cape.