UNITED NATIONS - On the 20th World AIDS Day, countries across the
world were urged to expand screening of newborns exposed to the
virus that causes AIDS.
"Without appropriate treatment, half of children with HIV will
die from an HIV-related cause by their second birthday," said Ann
Veneman, executive director of the U.N. children's fund UNICEF.
NO MORE DENIAL
South Africa observed a minute of silence for AIDS victims and
ended a decade of political denial about the epidemic. South
Africa has an estimated 5.5 million people living with the HIV
virus - the highest total of any country. About 1,000 South
Africans die each day of the disease and complications.
HOPE IN RESEARCH
Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, a scientist who shared a Nobel Prize
for the discovery of HIV a quarter-century ago, said Monday that
the body's initial response to contracting HIV could provide the
answers needed to develop a vaccine.
President George W. Bush was recognized Monday by California
pastor Rick Warren for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS
Relief. The program has provided lifesaving antiretroviral
treatments for more than 2.1 million people around the world with
HIV/AIDS, according to the White House.