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    UN EXPERTS: PEOPLE LOSING TO AIDS

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    JAKARTA, February 18 (RIA Novosti correspondent Mikhail Tsyganov) - The world is losing the fight against AIDS, Executive Director Richard Feachem of the Global Fund for the Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Wednesday in Canberra (Australia).

    This body was set up by the UN and the G8 in 2001 as part of the war humanity declared on these three mortally dangerous illnesses.

    We are only beginning to realize the entire scale of this horror, said Feachem. There is still a long way to go.

    The situation is particularly grave in South African countries, which are literally exploding under the AIDS pressure, he noted.

    According to the UN, there are about 26.6 million HIV-patients there.

    The head of the Fund was in Australia because that country was allocating $20 million for the anti-AIDS fight.

    Meanwhile, Russian expert, academician Vadim Pokrovsky believes the statistics of the UN report, HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and the CIS: how to turn back the epidemic, to be exaggerated, as he said on Tuesday at the presentation of the report in Moscow. Pokrovsky is heading the federal scientific and methodological center for AIDS prevention in Russia.

    According to the above-mentioned report, 1% of Eastern European and CIS residents are HIV-infected.

    "This can be seen the most pessimistic variant, but this figure is extremely exaggerated," said the academician. He trusts more the information of the UNA (UN - AIDS) international organization putting the number of Russian HIV-patients at no more than 0.4%, i.e. 700,000-800,000 people.

    According to the Russian Health Ministry, the number of HIV-infected in the country was 265,000 people as of early this year.

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