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Dallas Morning News
On World AIDS Day, nations urged to expand newborn screening

December 2, 2008
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.


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.


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.