Gates denies role in US AIDS report on India
Reacting to the controversy over projection of AIDS in India in the near future, Microsoft Chief Bill Gates said that his foundation was not involved in the US report that projected that India may have upto 25 million AIDS cases by 2010, but there is no doubt that India faces a serious challenge of "epidemic" proportion.
Indian government acknowledged the danger of AIDS and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was appreciative and supportive of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's efforts on AIDS during a luncheon meeting between the two, Gates, who is in the country on a four-day visit, told reporters here.
Seeking to dispel the controversy, Gates told reporters that "Going by the history, estimations of AIDS incidence have been low...Bill and Melinda Gates foundation was not involved in the report on AIDS," Gates said adding "there is no doubt that India faces a challenge."
"We don't know what the numbers are but numbers may rise," he said.
Gates said India's Health Minister Shatrughan Sinha was holding a reception this evening for him and he had accepted the position of chairman of the programme board constituted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Indian initiative on AIDS.
Sinha had countered a US report on AIDS saying the figures were exaggerated and there might be some commercial interests behind it. Some reports had said that Sinha might not meet Gates.