11/28/2013 11:59 EST | Updated 01/28/2014 05:59 EST

Canada AIDS Research Gets Ottawa $10.7 Million In Funding

MONTREAL - The federal government has earmarked $10.7 million for new research aimed at finding a cure for HIV as part of the global effort to eradicate AIDS.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced the five-year funding Thursday for two projects led by researchers in Montreal.

Dr. Eric Cohen at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal will receive the bulk of the funding — $8.7 million — to lead the Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise.

That project is a collaboration of the country's leading HIV researchers aimed at finding new approaches to curing HIV infection.

Dr. Hugo Soudeyns at the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine will receive $2 million to head a project focused on curing babies and children who acquire HIV from their mothers during pregnancy.

The projects are funded through a partnership that includes the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, or CANFAR, and the International AIDS Society.

"Scientific evidence is growing indicating that the time to increase our efforts in the search for a cure is now," said Ambrose. "The research announced today will make an important contribution to the global effort to find a cure for HIV."

As of 2011, more than 71,000 Canadians were infected with HIV, an 11 per cent increase from four years earlier. Worldwide, more than 35 million people are infected with HIV.

"With HIV on the rise, it is more important than ever to end AIDS globally," said Christopher Bunting, president and CEO of CANFAR. "And we know that through research and collaboration, we have a chance to bring this epidemic to its knees."

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