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Bush pledges $15 million to G-8 HIV vaccine initiative

Bush pledges $15 million to G-8 HIV vaccine initiative

The Bush administration won backing from major allies for a proposal to accelerate development of an HIV vaccine, and President Bush on Thursday proposed spending $15 million to launch it. The $15 million would gather people together at a yet-to-be determined medical center in the United States to advance vaccine research, said Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. Group of Eight countries meeting at an economic summit this week in Sea Island, Ga., adopted President Bush's plan for a "Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise"--a blueprint for speeding up development of a vaccine. The plan, Fauci said, would set up HIV vaccine development centers around the world to coordinate efforts, work to increase the capacity for manufacturing vaccine, standardize laboratories' measurement systems around the world so that advances in one lab are usable in others, build a network of clinics for trials, and allow regulatory authorities in different countries to recognize clinical trials across borders. "The body has a lot of trouble handling the HIV virus, which means that there are a lot of scientific problems that we need to solve before we get a vaccine," he said. "The only way we're going to do that is if everybody globally who's working on this works on it in a synergistic way." Some 14,000 people are infected with the AIDS virus each day, 5 million each year. And 3 million people die of the disease each year, Fauci said. (AP)

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