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Gates and Clinton call for thrift in AIDS fight

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Gates and Clinton call for thrift in AIDS fight


Bill Gates and Bill Clinton are urging AIDS activists to get value for money in the fight against HIV saying they could not expect donors to give more in hard times unless it was carefully spent.

Gates, a philanthropist whose Gates Foundation spends a large portion of its $34bn fund on fighting AIDS, addressed 20,000 AIDS scientists, health workers and activists at an international conference in Vienna.

The Microsoft founder said tackling AIDS must remain a priority for governments all over the world: “In these economic times it’s tough… we are not seeing the increases that we’ve seen in the past. Turbulence has driven government deficits and many countries have responded by freezing or even reducing their investments in global health. We have to do everything we can to change that.”

Bill Clinton, the former US president whose (William Clinton) Foundation is at the forefront of the global fight against AIDS stressed the value of basic prevention measures.

“But I also think you should remember to educate as well as advocate,” he said. “Healthcare is not just a right, it’s basically an extraordinarily good economic investment with a very high rate of return.”

Out of the 33.4 million people who are infected with the human immune deficiency virus HIV that causes AIDS, 5.2 million now get the drugs they need but non drug-related costs of treatment, such as hospital fees, laboratory testing and monitoring amount to more than twice the cost of the medicines.

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