A United Nations AIDS summit has committed to more than doubling the number of AIDS patients gettig life-saving treatment to 15 million by 2015.
The accord is considered by health groups to be a crucial step in obtaining universal access to drugs. However, wealthy countries must now promise to commit to paying to bill.
Countries at the summit, which marks, the 30th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS, have issued a statement which says they commit to accelerate efforts to achieve the goal of universal access to antiretroviral treatment.
The statement says that the UN sets a target of seeing that more than 15 million HIV sufferers in the poorest countries around the world are on antiretroviral treatment by 2015. The accord also contains the objective of the end mother-to-child transfer of HIV by 2015. Finally, it aims to increase preventive measures for the most vulnerable populations.
The international community currently funds treatment for about 6.6 million people in poorer countries, mainly in Africa. The summit declaration does not make specific new funding commitments. About $10 billion a year is spent now, and the UN agency co-ordinating the international battle against the disease estimates that more than $6 billion of additional annual funding is needed to get treatment to 15 million people.