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"Three years ago there was virtually no one in Africa on antiretroviral drugs. Now you'll have two million by the end of this year." Highlights from interview with Bono in The Independent to mark World AIDS Day. Plus latest word on the new record.

*** On how campaigning makes a difference for the poorest countries.***

"The most important thing to tell people is that, according to figures to be announced by the World Bank and OECD next week, an extra 26 million African children are going to school now because of debt cancellation."
In Tanzania he saw the impact of that in the classroom. "Two years ago an extra 1.5 million went to school. Last year that figure went up to three million. Where there were seven children to a desk now there's four. Instead of one book per desk there's now three...."

*** On the music the band have been writing since visiting Morocco earlier this year.***

"World music this is not," he says, though U2 fans will "feel the difference". Polyrhythmic is the word he chooses with a self-deprecating laugh. "U2 in dancefloor shock. Normally when you play a U2 tune, it clears the dancefloor. And that may not be true of this. There's some trance influences. But there's some very hardcore guitar coming out of The Edge. Real molten metal. It's not like anything we've ever done before, and we don't think it sounds like anything anyone else has done either."

*** On shopping (Red) ***

" People are always asking: 'What can I do personally?' And we always say get out on the streets, get organised, sign up to Oxfam or Save the Children or Christian Aid. But they say: 'What else can I do?' And (Red) gives them that, even while they're buying their Christmas presents."

Read the whole interview here

More on World AIDS Day from DATA here

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