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Bristol-Myers,
Baylor launch pediatric AIDS initiative

Bristol-Myers,
Baylor launch pediatric AIDS initiative

Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Baylor College of Medicine this week announced a $40 million initiative to treat HIV-positive children in developing countries, with an emphasis on Africa. Of the estimated 2.2 million HIV-positive children under age 15 worldwide, about 1.9 million are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to BMS.

BMS and Baylor will send up to 250 pediatricians to Africa to treat about 80,000 children over the next five years. Baylor will train the physicians--who in turn will train African health professionals--before they leave for one- or two-year terms of service. With $10 million, the school will pay up to $40,000 in student loans for participating doctors. BMS will donate $30 million, partly to pay the doctors each an annual stipend of $30,000 plus living expenses. The first doctors are expected to arrive next summer.

Bristol-Myers also agreed to cut the price of its anti-HIV drugs in developing countries: Zerit by 44% to 85 cents a day and Videx by 90%, to 15 cents a day. (AP)

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