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HIV vaccine 'should be available to world's poorest'

Providing easy access to a new HIV treatment will be a future challenge for international healthcare, says an Aids charity.

According to a joint statement by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids, a new trial vaccine has shown encouraging results in reducing infection rates.

Researchers say the RV144 vaccine reduces the risk of contracting HIV, the virus that leads to Aids, by nearly a third (31.2 per cent)

Julie Cassard, information and campaigns officer for healthcare charity Avert, said the news was "very hopeful".

If trials prove to be successful, Ms Cassard suggested the next step would be to make sure the treatment reached developing countries, "which is always a problem".

She added: "The question of accessibility would have to be looked at and pharmaceutical companies would have to make it cheap and available for anyone."

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