Fighting For Our Lives: Obama Pledges Additional $50 Million For AIDS Research
Black Like Moi reports:
President Barack Obama pledged an additional $50 million dollars to bolster HIV and AIDS treatment and medical facilities across the United States.
“We are going to win this fight,” Obama said. “But the fight’s not over, not by a long shot.”
He made the announcement during a D.C. event Thursday to mark World AIDS Day. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also attended the event via satellite.
Obama said that the U.S. will ramp up efforts across the globe, ambitiously seeking to help 6 million people by the end of 2013.
“That’s 2 million more people than our original goal,” he said.
With the ban stating that people infected with AIDS could not enter the United States lifted, Obama revealed that the U.S. will hold a World AIDS Conference next year.
“I understand we’re in tight budget times,” Bush said, “but I believe we are required to support effective programs that save lives.”
Clinton stressed the need to provide medicine and treatment to rural areas because they’re most under-served.
December 1 marked 30 years since the AIDS virus began it’s rampage in the United States and since that time, over 600,000 Americans have fallen victim to the fatal disease. It also continues to cripple the continent of Africa.
According to a recent U.N. report: “In Sub-Saharan Africa, about 22.9 million people are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS and nearly half of the 4.8 million Asians living with HIV reside in India.”
The White House released a statement revealing that about 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV — with approx. 50,000 people become infected with the disease each year.
There is a silver lining though.
There has been a 15 percent drop in new infection rate over the last 10 years, and a 22 percent reduction in AIDS-related deaths in the last five years, according to the U.N. report.
“2011 has been a game-changing year,” said Paul De Lay, deputy director of UNAIDS. “With new science, unprecedented political leadership and continued progress in the AIDS response, countries have a window of opportunity to seize this momentum and take their responses to the next level.”