UNAIDS congratulates United States’ leadership to end AIDS
GENEVA, 1 December 2011—The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) congratulates President Barack Obama on his bold commitment to provide AIDS treatment to 6 million people by 2013 and reach 1.5 million pregnant women living with HIV to protect their children from becoming infected with HIV. This reinforces the collaboration between UNAIDS and the United States on the global plan towards elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015—the foundation for an AIDS free generation.
“The commitments made by President Obama today will save lives and help move us towards an AIDS free generation,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Getting to zero and ending AIDS is a shared responsibility.”
UNAIDS also welcomes the United States’ strong bipartisan commitment to the global AIDS response. This unprecedented solidarity has made the United States the largest global AIDS donor, providing more than half (54.2%) of all international AIDS assistance available to low- and middle-income countries in 2010. The PEPFAR programme, initiated under the leadership of President George W. Bush and expanded by President Obama, currently provides lifesaving HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services to millions of people, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by the epidemic.
World leaders have pledged to invest between US$ 22-24 billion by 2015 for the AIDS response. In recent years, international assistance has begun to decline, jeopardizing the ability of countries to sustain and scale up access to prevention and treatment services. UNAIDS urges members of the G8 and G20 to expand their investments in AIDS—domestic and international. It also calls on all developing countries to increase their funding for their national AIDS programmes.
President Obama’s call to step up HIV prevention efforts using high-impact combination tools, such as treatment as prevention, male circumcision, antiretrovirals to stop new HIV infections among children and consistent condom use, has the potential to avert millions of new HIV infections. This approach, endorsed by UNAIDS, uses the best of new science and will save both money and lives.