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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid