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U.N. Urges Early Testing Of More Children At Risk Of HIV Infection

“More than a quarter of a million children each year are born infected with the virus that causes AIDS, but too few are being tested early to receive treatment and prolong their lives, the United Nations said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “Children are the ‘forgotten’ victims of the AIDS epidemic, yet 260,000 babies joined their ranks last year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, [UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé] said” at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday, the news agency writes, adding he called for HIV diagnostic kits for infants to be improved “and for their ‘still high’ current price of $25-50 to be brought down.” Mahesh Mahalingam, who directs UNAIDS’ global plan for stopping new infections among children, said, “The earlier we can diagnose, the earlier we can treat them which increases chances of child survival. … If we start pretty early they have the same chance of living as any other children,” according to the news agency (Nebehay, 11/20).