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Clinton unveils plan to combat AIDS

Nov. 30, 2012 at 9:05 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled what she called a "blueprint" to reduce AIDS transmissions and increase treatment for those who have the virus.

Clinton announced the plan -- titled the "President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR] Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation" -- Thursday at the State Department in Washington, D.C., two days before World AIDS Day.

"We can reach a point where virtually no children are born with the virus," she said about the plan's effort to "get ahead of the pandemic."

She said the blueprint would also address gender inequities that put women at a higher risk of contracting the disease, CNN reported.

Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, said AIDS-related deaths have dropped by more than 25 percent.

"The pace of progress is quickening -- what used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months," he said. "We are scaling up faster and smarter than ever before. It is the proof that with political will and follow-through, we can reach our shared goals by 2015."

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said more than 12,000 new cases of HIV -- the virus that leads to AIDS -- were reported in people 13 to 24 years of age in 2010.

About 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV and about 50,000 contract the virus each year, CNN reported.

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