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Health Highlights: July 14, 2015

Global HIV Treatment Goal Reached Early: U.N. AIDS Food Safety Violators Face Prosecution: Justice Dept. Official

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Global HIV Treatment Goal Reached Early: U.N. AIDS

The U.N. AIDS agency says its goal of getting HIV treatment to 15 million people worldwide by the end of 2015 was met in March, nine months ahead of schedule.

When the target was first set in 2000, fewer than 700,000 people with HIV were receiving antiretroviral drugs, BBC News reported.

The international response to HIV has prevented 30 million new HIV infections and nearly eight million AIDS-related deaths since 2000, according to the U.N. AIDS report released Tuesday.

During that time, new HIV infections have decreased from 2.6 million to 1.8 million a year, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen from 1.6 million to 1.2 million, BBC News reported.

Continued efforts over the next five years could bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic to an end by 2030, according to U.N. AIDS.


Food Safety Violators Face Prosecution: Justice Dept. Official

Food companies could face prosecution for food illness outbreaks, the U.S. Justice Department warns.

"We have made a priority holding individuals and companies responsible when they fail to live up to their obligations that they have to protect the safety of the food that all of us eat," Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery told the Associated Press.

The Obama administration has recently increased criminal enforcement in food safety cases. Most of the food in the United States is safe, but "even a tiny minority" can cause harm, Delery noted.

"The criminal prosecutions we bring should stand as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of disregarding danger to one's customers in the name of getting a shipment out on time -- of sacrificing what is right for what is expedient," he told food manufacturers at a safety meeting in Dallas last month, the AP reported.

Food safety regulation and enforcement is supported by the food industry.

"Product safety is the foundation of consumer trust, and our industry devotes enormous resources to ensure that our products are safe," said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the leading trade group for the industry, the AP reported.

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