- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Activists are urging state lawmakers to increase spending on the fight against AIDS with a goal of bringing the number of new infections each year to zero.

AIDS Action Committee Executive Director Carl Sciortino said that while Massachusetts has made great strides in battling the disease, the number of new infections has leveled off at about 700 each year.

Sciortino - a former Democratic state lawmaker from Medford - said new breakthroughs in treatment and prevention of HIV means the state can potentially break through that plateau in HIV diagnoses and get to zero new infections.

Sciortino said ramping up the state’s commitment to the fight against AIDS will not only help some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, but will end up saving the state millions in avoidable HIV-related health care costs.

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