Seven EU states have agreed to share research and work together in a bid to find a vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Meeting in Paris, representatives from France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands -- as well as the European Commission -- said they would co-ordinate efforts and research to "accelerate the discovery of an AIDS vaccine", according to Le Monde. French Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy criticized the "fragmentation" of European AIDS research and said it was "insufficiently financed." Representatives from the seven countries said they would share the fruits of scientific research in this field. The meeting will allow Europe to speak with a single voice at a conference on the AIDS vaccine which takes place on Thursday in Washington. Brussels warned last month that Europe's AIDS problem is worsening as the rate of new infections in some new member states are the highest in the World. The proportion of newly reported HIV cases has also doubled in Western Europe since 1995. (EUobserver.com)