Today, Obama Administration officials and leaders in the AIDS community will speak at a World AIDS Day event at the White House to reflect on the lessons learned and the path forward in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the United States and around the world.¬† The White House World AIDS Day Event will include keynote remarks as well as a panel discussion with HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates and will be live streamed at 1:30 on www.whitehouse.gov/live.
(Please click inside to read the rest of Crowley’s blog, President Obama’s World AIDS Day Proclamation, and information about the President‚Äôs Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief¬† known as PEPFAR.)
Throughout his career in public service, President Obama has been committed to fighting HIV/AIDS here at home and around the world. ¬†With the President‚Äôs Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) as a foundation, the President put forward an ambitious $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI) to combat HIV/AIDS, address other health challenges and assist partner countries to strengthen their health systems and build capacity to provide services sustainably.¬† Through the GHI, the President‚Äôs aim is to ensure our programs have maximum impact, as this Administration‚Äôs focus is on outcomes, such as lives saved — not simply dollars spent. Since taking office, the number of those on antiretroviral treatment has nearly doubled to 3.2 million ‚Äď up from 1.7 million in 2008, and under the GHI, the U.S. continues to be the global leader in funding for HIV/AIDS.¬† The President proposed the largest request to date for PEPFAR for FY 2011.¬† Additionally, in October, the Administration announced an unprecedented multi-year pledge of $4 billion for 2011-2013 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.¬† This pledge represents a 38% increase in U.S. support for the Global Fund, and is in addition to more than $5.1 billion provided to the Fund to date.
Domestically, the Office of National AIDS Policy released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy and Federal Implementation Plan for the United States with three key goals: reducing the number of new infections; increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV; and reducing HIV-related health disparities.
Jeffrey Crowley is the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 30, 2010
WORLD AIDS DAY, 2010
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
On this World AIDS Day, as we approach the thirtieth year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, we reflect on the many Americans and others around the globe lost to this devastating disease, and pledge our support to the 33 million people worldwide who live with HIV/AIDS.¬† We also recommit to building on the great strides made in fighting HIV, to preventing the spread of the disease, to continuing our efforts to combat stigma and discrimination, and to finding a cure.
Today, we are experiencing a domestic HIV epidemic that demands our attention and leadership.¬† My Administration has invigorated our response to HIV by releasing the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.¬† Its vision is an America in which new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, all persons¬†¬†¬† regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance¬†¬†¬† will have unfettered access to high quality, life extending care.
Signifying a renewed level of commitment and urgency, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States focuses on comprehensive, evidence based approaches to preventing HIV in high risk communities.¬† It strengthens efforts to link and retain people living with HIV into care, and lays out new steps to ensure that the United States has the workforce necessary to serve Americans living with HIV.¬† The Strategy also provides a path for reducing HIV related health disparities by adopting community level approaches to preventing and treating this disease, including addressing HIV related discrimination.
Along with this landmark Strategy, we have also made significant progress with the health reform law I signed this year, the Affordable Care Act.¬† For far too long, Americans living with HIV and AIDS have endured great difficulties in obtaining adequate health insurance coverage and quality care.¬† The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from using HIV status and other pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny health care coverage to children as of this year, and to all Americans beginning in 2014.¬† To ensure that individuals living with HIV/AIDS can access the care they need, the Affordable Care Act ends lifetime limits and phases out annual limits on coverage.¬† Starting in 2014, it forbids insurance companies from charging higher premiums because of HIV status, and introduces tax credits that will make coverage more affordable for all Americans.¬† This landmark law also provides access to insurance coverage through the Pre Existing Condition Insurance Plan for the uninsured with chronic conditions.
Our Government has a role to play in reducing stigma, which is why my Administration eliminated the entry ban that previously barred individuals living with HIV/AIDS from entering the United States.¬† As a result, the 2012 International AIDS Conference will be held in Washington, D.C., the first time this important meeting will be hosted by the United States in over two decades.¬† For more information about our commitment to fighting this epidemic and the stigma surrounding it, I encourage all Americans to visit:¬† www.AIDS.gov.
Tackling this disease requires a shared response that builds on the successes achieved to date.¬† Globally, tens of millions of people have benefited from HIV prevention, treatment, and care programs supported by the American people.¬† The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria support anti retroviral treatments for millions around the world.¬† My Administration has also made significant investments and increases in our efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS at home and abroad by implementing a comprehensive package of proven prevention programs and improving the health of those in developing countries.¬† Additionally, the Global Health Initiative integrates treatment and care with other interventions to provide a holistic approach to improving the health of people living with HIV/AIDS.¬† Along with our global partners, we will continue to focus on saving lives through effective prevention activities, as well as other smart investments to maximize the impact of each dollar spent.
World AIDS Day serves as an important reminder that HIV/AIDS has not gone away.¬† More than one million Americans currently live with HIV/AIDS in the United States, and more than 56,000 become infected each year.¬† For too long, this epidemic has loomed over our Nation and our world, taking a devastating toll on some of the most vulnerable among us.¬† On World AIDS Day, we mourn those we have lost and look to the promise of a brighter future and a world without HIV/AIDS.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 1, 2010, as World AIDS Day.¬† I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to remember the men, women, and children who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty fifth.
Background on PEPFAR from the White House:
World AIDS Day:¬† U.S. Reports Encouraging Progress in Saving Lives through Smart Investments
Reflecting America‚Äôs commitment to saving lives affected by HIV/AIDS, the U.S. President‚Äôs Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced encouraging new results achieved by its efforts to support countries in providing HIV prevention, treatment and care to their people. Among these results, the U.S. is directly supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for more than 3.2 million men, women and children worldwide as of September 30, 2010, up from less than 2.5 million in 2009. In the coming years, the U.S. has committed to directly support more than four million people on treatment, more than doubling the number of people directly supported on treatment during the first five years of PEPFAR.
Combating HIV/AIDS is a shared global responsibility. In addition to PEPFAR‚Äôs direct impact, many also benefit from programs supported by the U.S. and other donors through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Of the estimated 5.2 million individuals in low- and middle-income countries who currently receive treatment, nearly 4.7 million receive support through PEPFAR bilateral programs, the Global Fund, or both. The U.S. is the first and largest donor to the Global Fund, having provided more than $5.1 billion to date and announced an historic multi-year pledge of $4 billion for 2011-2013, a 38 percent increase in U.S. support.
Support for prevention of new HIV infections, and for care and support for those affected by HIV, are other areas in which PEPFAR programs show encouraging progress. PEPFAR directly supported antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission for more than 600,000 HIV-positive pregnant women in fiscal year 2010, allowing more than 114,000 infants to be born HIV-free. Through its partnerships with more than 30 countries, PEPFAR directly supported 11 million people with care and support, including nearly 3.8 million orphans and vulnerable children, in fiscal year 2010 alone. PEPFAR directly supported HIV counseling and testing for nearly 33 million people in fiscal year 2010, providing a critical entry point to prevention, treatment, and care.
Building on these and other global health successes supported by the American people, President Barack Obama put forward an ambitious U.S. Global Health Initiative to support countries as they improve the health of their own people. The Initiative seeks to save the greatest number of lives in a sustainable way by building upon what works. The U.S. will continue to work with the global community to build on success to date by making smart investments to save more lives.
For more information, visit the newly redesigned PEPFAR website, www.PEPFAR.gov.