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Fighting disease – G-8 takes on HIV, TB, malaria

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The Group of Eight industrial nations have announced an ambitious campaign against killer diseases, one that the World Health Organization says will cost at least $25 billion over the next five years, the Associated Press reported July 24.

The leaders of the G-8 meeting have pledged to cut the number of young people infected with HIV by a quarter and to halve the number of deaths from tuberculosis over the next 10 years. They also promised to fight diseases associated with malaria.

The World Health Organization issued a statement on July 23 welcoming the commitment, especially because those three illnesses account for half of all fatalities worldwide from infectious diseases.

The agency warned, however, that fighting the diseases will be costly and will require governments to coordinate their efforts with the United Nations, private companies and foundations.

Achieving the G-8 goals will cost roughly $5 billion a year for the next five years, according to the statement. Fighting HIV will be the most expensive effort and will consume about 60 percent of those funds. The rest of the money should be split evenly between the campaigns against malaria and tuberculosis, the organization said.

For full story, go to America Online.

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