Clinton brings AIDS drugs to kids

Thousands of HIV-positive children are to benefit from a new AIDS drug initiative announced by former US President Bill Clinton on Monday.

According to a Clinton Foundation statement, the project will provide paediatric AIDS treatment to 10,000 children in at least 10 developing countries by the end of this year, including Rwanda, Mozambique and Tanzania.

"One in every six AIDS deaths each year is a child, yet children represent less than one of every 30 persons getting treatment in developing countries today. These children need hope, and we know what must be done," the former president said.

The UN Children's Fund, which has been working with the Clinton Foundation and other organisations to extend the programme to more than 60,000 children by the end of 2006, has hailed the initiative as "a great first step" in the right direction.