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[BARCELONA] The top priority for AIDS researchers and activists is to press governments to translate words into actions, the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona has been told.

The last such conference — in Durban, South Africa, two years ago — generated many promises of action, but most are so far unkept. Opening the Barcelona meeting on 7 July, Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, said it heralded “a new era — the era of AIDS as a global political issue.”

Although some progress has been made since Durban, delegates were reminded that according to current projections there could be 45 million new cases of HIV/AIDS by 2010, with the prevalence in some African countries already running at over 30 per cent of the population.

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Reference: Nature 418, 115 (2002)

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