French president Jacques Chirac is calling for a tax to fund the global fight against AIDS. The experimental levy could generate $10 billion per year, Chirac said. Addressing the delegates at the World Economic Forum last week in Davos, Switzerland, by video link-up, Chirac said imposing the tax on a fraction of international financial transactions would not hamper the market. He also suggested funds might be raised by taxing fuel for air and sea transport, or charging $1 on airline tickets sold worldwide. Chirac said the tax money would fund antiretroviral drug distribution, vaccine research, and prevention campaigns. Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, said the idea could help move HIV treatment in the developing world to a new level after "a strong but modest start."
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