Joining forces

Estimated worldwide HIV infections: 45 487 353 as of 10.46am on Thursday February 14 2002

Working together: Former rival Aids researchers Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo have joined forces after a more-than-10-year feud over who discovered the HI virus. Gallo acknowledged on Wednesday that Montagnier was the first to find the virus. The researchers now want to raise money to develop and test at least five potential HIV vaccines together with the United Nations.

Not doing enough: The United States government is doing too little to fight Aids, according to US senators and Aids activists.
US President George W Bush intends to commit less than $900-million to the fight against Aids this year. But UN Secretary General Kofi Annan estimates that $7-billion to $10-billion is needed each year to prevent the spread of the disease and treat the 40-million people already infected.

Deadly Drop: Within three years most Africans will not live to see their 48th birthday unless action is taken to stem the spread of HIV/Aids, a conference on population heard this week in Ethiopia. Without action, the life expectancy at birth in Africa is going to decline to an average of 47,5 years in 2005, a fall of 15 years in two decades, says Prosper Poukouta, a demographer working with the African Development Bank.

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