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Tuesday 17 January 2006
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AFRICA: Lewis welcomes Clinton AIDS deal

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 16 January (PLUSNEWS) - The UN has welcomed a deal struck by former US President Bill Clinton to secure cheaper anti-AIDS drugs for the developing world.

Clinton announced last week that the deal would not only reduce the cost of second-line drugs, but also the price of rapid HIV tests. First-line drugs are used in the earliest stages of treatment.

Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, said the agreement was vital as about 10 to 15 percent of people on first-line drugs would need new treatment combinations in three or four years.

"What Clinton has done ... [is] he's negotiated the prices so much lower than are now available that it will make a great difference to keeping people alive," Lewis told reporters in Canada.



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