MELBOURNE, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. president Bill Clinton on Wednesday delivered a high-profile speech at the 20th International AIDS conference in Australia's second largest city of Melbourne, saying early detection of HIV and early treatment could save more lives.
At the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center, Clinton told the crowds that one of the most difficult challenges on the fighting against AIDS is early detection of HIV.
"New data from 51 countries suggests 70 percent of HIV related deaths could have been prevented," he said.
Only half people with HIV know their status and only part of exposure infants are tested, he said, stressing the evidence shows that early treatment helps prevent further transmission.
When paying tribute to the lost experts on AIDS due to the crash of Malaysian flight MH17, he praised Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for getting the United Nations Security Council to agree on a resolution on the disaster.
"I was very proud yesterday to be in this country when the Australian foreign minister spoke at the UN," said the former American leader.
Clinton's address was temporarily disrupted by some protesters pushing for a tax to fund the fight against AIDS and HIV, but the president smiled and let them finish.
The AIDS 2014 conference started last Sunday and will conclude this Friday. According to the organizer, six delegates were killed in the MH17 disaster on their way to Melbourne.