“The United States of America will remain the global leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Today more than 34 million people live with the HIV virus worldwide. In recent remarks on World AIDS day, President Barack Obama highlighted the role of the United States in the global effort to defeat AIDS:
“The United States of America will remain the global leader in the fight against HIV and 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.”
President Obama also announced a new initiative to advance research into an HIV cure. The National Institutes of Health will receive $100 million to develop a new generation of therapies.
The United States also extends its assistance to those affected by HIV and AIDS abroad. For instance, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, established in 2003 under the Bush administration, has the goal to provide prevention, treatment and care to people with HIV. As of September 30, 2013, PEPFAR supports treatment for more than 6.7 million people. Last year alone, PEPFAR supported testing and counseling for more than 57.7 million people.
An important part of PEPFAR's HIV prevention work is to help prevent mother-to-child transmissions of the virus in the womb or through breast-feeding. When implemented effectively and at scale, the usage of antiretroviral medications in pregnancy, and during the breast-feeding period, has the potential to reduce the rate of HIV transmission to virtually zero, compared with around one-third without any intervention.
The United States is committed to working hard to achieve an AIDS-free generation. The new initiative proposed by President Obama continues to place the United States at the forefront of new discoveries.