- Associated Press - Thursday, July 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The World Health Organization says the global target of 15 million people taking life-saving AIDS drugs by 2015 is just a first step.

With 8 million people in poor countries taking them now, WHO’s Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall told the International AIDS conference the world should meet the higher goal.

But the number needing drugs rises to 23 million with the goal beyond that: People who aren’t yet as sick but need treatment to lower their chances of spreading the virus. That includes high-risk populations, people in relationships with healthy partners, and pregnant women who would need to be kept on medication after their babies are born.

Hirnschall urged countries to expand HIV testing so they can start reaching those people, saying “now is not the time to be timid.”

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