February 2, 2009

HIV expert calls for access to HIV drugs

The co-discoverer of the HIV virus, Luc Montagnier, says poor nations need better access to HIV drugs.

While receiving an award in Rome Monday, he bemoaned the disparity among nations in treating patients with human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, ANSA reported.

''There is still a great disparity of treatment between the countries of the South and the countries of the North and only 30 percent of the world's poor have access to HIV drugs,'' said Montagnier, a 2008 Nobel Prize winner.

''The AIDS epidemic is currently under control in the north of the world and many efforts have been made to spread the results of scientific research to the countries of the south but there are still great difficulties in those countries."

Montagnier said he was working with scientists around the world on AIDS treatments and on a vaccine to prevent the deadly disease.