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Fighting AIDS: US Donates an Extra $150 Million

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says science now has the tools to slash the spread of HIV even without a vaccine, and the U.S. is donating another $150 million to help poor countries put them in place.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the International AIDS Conference in Washington today that the U.S. is committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation, meaning no babies would be born infected.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health says while there can be “no promises” or timelines for ridding the world of the disease, it can happen. Fauci says how long it takes depends on how quickly the world adopts existing tools, including getting more of the millions of untreated people onto life-saving drugs that also keep them from infecting others.

Elton John told the conference that part of the challenge will be overcoming the stigma that keeps high-risk populations from getting AIDS treatment and services. The pop singer says the shame associated with the disease needs to be replace with love.

Some 34.2 million people worldwide are living with HIV, and 2.5 million were infected last year.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)