Bill Gates visits HIV patients in southern India

Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates visited a hospice for chronic diseases in southern India and met with a group of HIV positive patients undergoing treatment there, a news report said Thursday. Gates is on a four-day visit to India, where Microsoft runs a large software development operation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation runs a US$200-million (Ђ171-million) program to combat AIDS.

Gates arrived in southern Madras city in the morning and drove to the sanatorium, where he met the HIV positive group, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The hospice serves poor people suffering from a range of illnesses and HIV infections.

He would later meet M. Karunanidhi, an influential local politician whose party is part of India's ruling coalition, the report said. On Friday, he would address business leaders and meet Jayaram Jayalalitha, the top elected official of Tamil Nadu state, of which Madras is the capital, before flying to Bangalore.

Gates spent two days in New Delhi, where he announced that Microsoft would invest US$1.7 billion (Ђ1.45 billion) and add 3,000 jobs in India, reports the AP. I.L.

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