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WHO officials say
organization won't meet HIV treatment goal

WHO officials say
organization won't meet HIV treatment goal

A report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS says WHO will not meet its goal of having 3 million HIV-positive people in developing countries on antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2005. About 1 million people are currently receiving antiretroviral drugs through WHO's advocacy program, according to the report.

WHO says hurdles to reaching the program's target goal include a lack of coordinated strategy to deliver anti-HIV drugs in areas with poor health care infrastructures, a lack of staff to monitor HIV patients in poor nations, and an increasing demand for antiretroviral drugs as more people worldwide are screened for HIV and more infections are identified. Randall Tobias, head of the U.S. State Department Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, adds that wealthy nations simply haven't contributed enough money to fully fund the "3 x 5" HIV treatment program.

Despite failing to meet its overall goal, WHO says the "3 x 5" program has resulted in scaled-up treatment programs throughout the world, and notes that it will eventually reach the 3 million enrollment mark, just not by the end of this year. "It is going to be extremely difficult to reach that target, but the point is that we are going to get to 3 million," WHO HIV program director Jim Kim told BBC News.

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