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UN AIDS Summit Sets Target For Drugs Treatment

A magnified view of the AIDS virus

A magnified view of the AIDS virus

UNITED NATIONS -- A UN AIDS summit has set a target of treating 15 million people with the deadly disease with life-saving drugs by 2015.

The executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, said medical breakthroughs had made AIDS a treatable disease.

"AIDS has moved from what was effectively a death sentence to a chronic disease," Sidibe said. "New HIV infections are now declining at a significant rate -- by 25 percent in the last 10 years."

Health groups have welcomed the declaration but cautioned nations must now come up with the cash to meet the new targets.

How to fund the treatment of AIDS was the most contentious issue at the three-day summit in New York.

Our correspondent at the UN, Nikola Krastev, says that with nations facing shrinking budgets, there is less money to go around.

For the first time since 2001, international AIDS programs are facing decreases in funding.