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Updated: July 14, 2010 14:00 IST

Obama vows to fight HIV/AIDS

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the White House, Washington on Tuesday.
AP U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the White House, Washington on Tuesday.

United StatesPresident Barack Obama has said a new strategy for combating HIV and AIDS that fulfills America’s obligation to stop the spread of the virus and rooting out the inequities and attitudes on which it thrives.

The strategy sets a goal of reducing new infections by 25 per cent during the next five years; getting treatment for 85 per cent of patients within three months of their diagnosis; and increasing education about the virus, even in communities with low rates of infection.

“Fighting HIV/AIDS in America and around the world will require more than just fighting the virus,” Obama said at a White House reception honouring people who fight HIV and AIDS. .

“It will require a broader effort to make life more just and equitable.”

While medical breakthroughs have greatly improved quality of life for the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, the US has struggled to lower the rate of new infections. The new strategy sets a goal of reducing new infections by 25 per cent during the next five years.

About 56,000 people in the U.S. become infected each year, a rate that has held steady for about a decade.

“We’ve been keeping pace when we should be gaining ground,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a separate event unveiling the strategy earlier in the day.

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