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    Ban seeks action on UAIDS investment framework

    KABUL(PAN): The number of new HIV infections has fallen by more than 20 per cent since 1997, the United Nations secretary-general has said, calling for continued political commitments and investments.

    New infections were continuing to decline in most parts of the world, Ban Ki-moon said, adding in sub-SaharanAfrica, the region most affected by the epidemic, HIV incidence had decreased in 22 countries.

    "The progress we have made so far is proof that we can realise our vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths," Ban said in a statement on World AIDS Day.

    Access to HIV prevention services was helping young people, sex workers and their clients, he said. Treatment has averted 2.5 million AIDS-related deaths since 1985.

    Last year alone, the UN chief pointed out, 700,000 lives were saved. Some 6.6 million people, nearly half those who need treatment in low- and middle-income countries, are under treatment.

    "I urge all concerned to act on the investment framework put forward by UNAIDS and to fully fund the global investment target of up to $24 billion annually. The results would offset the upfront costs in less than one generation," he concluded.