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Bill Clinton speaks at int’l AIDS conference
In 2005, G-8 leaders committed in a communique to developing and implementing an Africa-focused package for HIV prevention, treatment and care with the aim of getting “as close as possible to universal access to treatment for all those who need it by 2010.” They reaffirmed and broadened their commitment a year later in Russia with more detailed financing pledges.
But a G-8 accountability report from the most recent summit of world leaders in Canada last month acknowledged that the “universal access targets with respect to HIV/AIDS will not be met by 2010.”
Among the issues to be discussed by participants through Friday are the decriminalization of drug users, as well as the growing AIDS epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Montaner accused governments from some Eastern European states of indifference to the acute situations in their countries and said their absence at the Vienna meeting was “irresponsible to the point of criminal negligence.”
According to the World Health Organization, 33.4 million people were living with HIV in 2008. While the numbers of deaths declined to 2 million in 2008 from 2.2 million in 2004, about 2.7 million new infections still occur each year.
Associated Press writer Maria Cheng contributed to this report from London.
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