News / USA

US Marks 10th Anniversary of Emergency AIDS Funding

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to speak at the 10th anniversary celebration for the President's Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief, June 18, 2013, at the State Department in Washington.
Secretary of State John Kerry arrives to speak at the 10th anniversary celebration for the President's Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief, June 18, 2013, at the State Department in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced new anti-AIDS funding to mark the 10th anniversary of the primary U.S. program to combat the disease.

Kerry said it is worth remembering how bleak things looked 10 years ago. With nearly 30-million people infected with the virus that causes AIDS, he said an entire generation looked lost.

"When this disease appeared to be unstoppable, history will show that humanity and individual humans rose to the challenge," he said." Action was taken. Innovations were discovered. Hope was kindled.  And generations were saved."

Kerry said this "victory for the human spirit" shows what can happen when people overcome ideologies and politics. Signed into law by George W. Bush, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, is the world's largest and one of the most successful foreign assistance programs.

New HIV infections are down nearly 20 percent during the past decade. In Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. officials say the number of new infections and AIDS-related deaths are down by almost one-third.

In Namibia, for example, one-in-four pregnant women were HIV positive in 2002.  The country's Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Richard Kamwi, said PEPFAR has helped turn that around.

"We have developed and implemented policies, programs, and services that have enabled us to prevent the further spread of HIV, treat those who are infected, and care for those who are affected," he said.

Also at a State Department ceremony marking the PEPFAR anniversary was Tanzanian nurse Tatu Msangi, who eight years ago gave birth to an HIV-negative daughter, Faith.

"When the first HIV test is carried out on a baby and it is negative, it is amazing to see the relief and joy on a mother's face," said Msangi. "I remember that feeling so many years ago, fighting so hard to keep my daughter healthy and free of HIV.  Today Faith and I have a bright future ahead of us."

Kerry said this month the one-millionth baby will be born HIV-free because of PEPFAR's support.

"Where we once saw a situation spiraling out of control, today we see a virtuous cycle beginning to form: more people receiving treatment and fewer people passing on the virus," he said. "Fewer infections means it is now easier to actually focus treatment efforts. And with fewer people sick and dying we are seeing healthier, more productive populations."

Kerry announced additional PEPFAR funding for Cambodia, Ghana, Nepal, Senegal, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe to strengthen sustainable programs in partnership with host governments and civil society groups.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More