India to get financial help to battle HIV and AIDS

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NEW DELHI - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged 23 million US dollars to India to help halt the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.

The money will be used to train government health workers in HIV and AIDS prevention programs and to fund groups that work with high risk segments of the population, such as prostitutes and intravenous drug users.

5.7 million people in India live with HIV or AIDS. But the prevalence rate remains low, given that India has more than 1 billion residents.

India has a poor public health infrastructure. The country also has been criticized for failing to distribute free anti-retroviral drugs to help manage the effects of AIDS.