B. Clinton urges more HIV care

July 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said at a conference in Washington, D.C., there is "no excuse" for some HIV patients in Africa to not receive treatment.

More than 20,000 delegates attended the six-day 19th International AIDS Conference, which focused on ending the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic, Voice of America reported.

In his address at the conference's final session Friday, Clinton said his organization, the Clinton Foundation, found treating HIV-positive patients in some African countries is less costly than previously thought.

"Treatment costs an average of just $200 per patient per year. That includes the cost of drugs, diagnostic tests, personnel and outpatient costs. There is no excuse for failing to provide treatment to the remaining 10 million people in need," he said.

Michel Sidibe, executive director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, called for more cure research funding during his speech at the conference.

"Today we should not just say, 'OK, let us have treatment.' We should say, 'why not a cure? Why not a vaccine?' That is the area where we need to put our energy, and that will bring us certainly to the end of this epidemic," he said.

The conference was held in the United States for the first time in 22 years after President Barack Obama lifted travel restrictions on people infected with HIV, which causes AIDS.

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