updated 1/12/2006 4:20:08 PM ET 2006-01-12T21:20:08

Former President Bill Clinton announced Thursday that his foundation has negotiated agreements to lower the price of rapid HIV tests and anti-AIDS drugs in the developing world.

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Under the agreement, four companies will offer the tests for 49 cents to 65 cents each, cutting the cost of a diagnosis in half. Four more companies will provide the antiretroviral drugs efavirenz and abacavir at a price about 30 percent less than the current market rate.

"Too many people die because they can't afford or don't have access to the drugs," Clinton said at his office in Harlem. "This agreement will save hundreds of thousands of lives."

The products and prices will be available to the Clinton Foundation's procurement consortium, which includes 50 developing countries on several continents.

The Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, founded in 2002, provides technical, logistical and financial assistance to poorer countries struggling with the epidemic.

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