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In developing countries, "the number of new infections continues to dwarf the numbers who start antiretroviral therapy in developing countries", he says.Indonesia - which the UN said last month has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia - marked the day with the launch of its first national campaign to promote the use of condoms, which currently account for less than one per cent of contraception use.The tally of new infections has fallen, too, from three million in the late 1990s to an estimated 2.5 million in 2007.Meanwhile, the agonising effort to bring antiretroviral drugs to Africa, where more than two-thirds of the people with HIV/AIDS live, is now bearing fruit.A "biosensor" developed by scientists of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) detects the p24 antigen, a protein attached to the HIV virus, in human blood, the council said in a statement.The technology "detects the protein at concentrations 100,000 times lower than in current techniques," it said, and "during the first week after infection." "In addition, the total test time is four hours, 45 minutes, meaning clinical results could be obtained on the same day." The outcome of tests with the sensor was published this week in the science journal PLOS ONE.US President George W Bush also marked the day by repeating his call on US politicians to double support for anti-AIDS programs to $US30 billion ($A34.1 billion) over five years.
Its ingredients are manufactured using existing tecnology, "thus making large-scale, low-cost production possible," CSIC researcher Javier Tamayo said a statement.These figures may give the impression that a once irrevocable death sentence is now a manageable chronic disease.But experts and advocacy groups say this is a dangerous mirage."Despite substantial progress against AIDS worldwide, we are still losing ground," says James Shelton of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in a commentary appearing today in The Lancet, a London medical journal.Despite progress in the drug rollout, treatment is still only available to about 10 per cent of those in need, notes Shelton.