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Health Organizations Meet on Pediatric AIDS

Representatives from Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization are meeting in Geneva Wednesday to discuss treating children with HIV and AIDS.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Doctors Without Borders urged pharmaceutical companies to develop easy-to-use, inexpensive drug treatments for children, who often cannot tolerate adult doses or certain forms of medicine.

The statement said existing child-appropriate drugs, such as syrups rather than pills, are usually more expensive than pills and cannot be combined into convenient drug cocktails. The release also said treating children with AIDS must be made a moral imperative.

It said there is little economic incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop pediatric AIDS drugs because infected children are common mostly in poor countries that cannot afford such medications.