News / Health

Obama Ups US Contribution to Global AIDS Fund

Obama Ups US Contribution to Global AIDS Fundi
X
December 03, 2013 5:51 AM
Marking the 25th annual observance of World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama said his administration remains committed to the global fight against AIDS.
Watch related video from VOA.
Marking the 25th annual observance of World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama said his administration remains committed to the global fight against AIDS. He also announced an increase in the potential total U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The observance brought together the president and other U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Obama reflected on how far the fight against HIV/AIDS has come since the devastation of the early days of the epidemic.  He announced that a major goal of the PEPFAR (The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief) program, begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush, had been achieved.

"Two years ago, I set new prevention and treatment targets for PEPFAR, like increasing the number of mothers we reach so that we prevent their children from becoming infected, and helping six million people get treatment by the end of 2013," he said. "Today, I’m proud to announce that we’ve not only reached our goal, we’ve exceeded our treatment target.  So we’ve helped 6.7 million people receive lifesaving treatment.  And we’re going to keep at it."

The president has faced criticism from AIDS and health activists over what they call lagging U.S. contributions to PEPFAR, down 12 percent since 2010.  PEPFAR began in 2003 with a $15 billion U.S. commitment.

Obama said his administration has not just sustained PEPFAR efforts but "expanded them," and he noted efforts to ensure that contributions from other donors match those from the United States.

During the president's first term, the U.S. pledged $4 billion to the Global Fund.  For the current fiscal year budget, Obama requested $1.65 billion -- conditional on other donors stepping up contributions.

Over the next three years, Obama said the U.S. will contribute $1 for every $2 pledged by donors, up to a potential total of $5 billion.  He urged donors attending the Global Fund meeting in Washington not to "leave money on the table" and said the U.S. will remain a global leader in the fight against AIDS.

"We will stand with you every step of this journey until we reach the day that we know is possible, when all men and women can protect themselves from infection; a day when all people with HIV have access to the treatments that extend their lives; the day when there are no babies being born with HIV or AIDS, and when we achieve, at long last, what was once hard to imagine -- and that’s an AIDS-free generation," he said.

AIDS deaths globally, 2001-2012 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)AIDS deaths globally, 2001-2012 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
x
AIDS deaths globally, 2001-2012 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
AIDS deaths globally, 2001-2012 (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Secretary of State John Kerry said it is clear the world is "turning a very important corner" in the AIDS fight,  but said the challenge ahead will require major continued commitments.

Kerry indirectly addressed criticism, saying achieving key goals of reducing infections, mortality and increasing access to treatment in Africa and elsewhere, were due to President Obama's insisting on "setting a new standard."

"The way that we have leveraged our commitments inspires greater contributions from other nations and we have shown, I think, therein, strategic leadership," he said.

Kerry cited South Africa, Rwanda and Namibia as examples of transitioning PEPFAR from providing direct aid to delivering support for "locally run and self-sustaining efforts."

Domestically,  Obama announced his administration will redirect $100 million to the National Institutes of Health to develop a new generation of therapies to fight HIV and AIDS.

"The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put HIV into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies, or better yet, eliminate it completely," he said.

Also in his remarks Monday, the president noted that his signature health insurance reform law, which has been plagued by serious flaws, provides for free AIDS testing. And he noted that the law bars companies from denying health coverage to Americans, including those infected with HIV.

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs