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Bill Gates questions likelihood of imminent AIDS vaccine

Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire and founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has said he will "eat his hat" if an effective AIDS vaccine is discovered within the next 10 years.

Mr Gates, the world's biggest private donor to vaccine research, said he would be very surprised if Gordon Brown's hopes of an imminent vaccine discovery were realised. Mr Brown recently asserted that a vaccine could be discovered as early as 2012 if spending on research was doubled, before committing £1.4 billion of government funds to the project.

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US increases pressure on UN to ban Harm Reduction

A report published today by the International Narcotics Control Board has highlighted an alarming spread of HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users in Russia, Eastern and Central Europe. An estimated 4 million people are now believed to have been infected in the region, with many more cases expected over the coming year.

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HIV+ teens taking more risks

A new study of US HIV+ teenagers has shown that they are taking more risks and having more sexual partners than 10 years ago, probably because the believe that HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) stops them being infectious.

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South African Death rates jump by 57%

The death rate in South Africa has increased by 57% according to the latest figures released by governmental agency, Statistics SA, with AIDS believed to be a significant factor in the rise, particularly among the 15 to 49 age bracket. Despite tuberculosis being recorded as the primary cause of death in the country, officials have admitted that many of these cases probably became fatal due to an underlying AIDS infection. TB killed 37,917 people aged between 15 and 49 in 2001, while HIV/AIDS reportedly claimed just 7,564.

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Nigeria to expand ARV therapy to 100,000 people with AIDS

Nigeria is to dramatically increase the number of people on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) following a cash boost, the country's health minister said today.

Financial problems mean that only 14,000 of 3.5 million people with HIV are currently on ARV treatment, despite a 2002 initiative to treat people with Indian generic drugs for just 1,000 naira ($7) per patient.

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