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HIV battle pace stepped up

Monday June 6th, 2011

The world has made fast progress in tackling HIV infection in poor countries - but needs to use innovative ideas to step up the pace, a major summit is to be told this week.

Last year alone the number of people getting drug treatment in low and middle-income countries increased by nearly a quarter, according to new World Health Organisaion figures.

WHO says some 6.6 million people in these countries were getting drug treatment last year - but another nine million globally need therapy.

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan is to discuss the latest figures at a United Nations conference in New York on AIDS and technology.

The organisation says that simple innovations can sometimes make a big difference - such as insuring that access to treatment is linked to programmes dealing with child health, TB and drug dependence.

Dr Chan said: "The impressive new estimates are an important milestone in the public health response to HIV that began 30 years ago.

"But we have much to do to reach the goal of universal access, and doing more of the same will not get us there. We need further innovation in HIV, including simpler and more accessible prevention and treatment approaches for all those in need."

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | World Health

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