An estimated 30 million people have died from AIDS-related causes since the disease was first reported 30 years ago. New methods to prevent HIV transmission have recently been identified, but some say implementation of these methods may prove difficult. Funding from donor governments for the AIDS response in low- and middle-income countries in 2010 fell 10 percent from the previous year's level, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation and Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report.
There is no doubt that this reduction is linked to economic strain felt by countries across the globe.
UNAIDS estimates that an investment of at least $22 billion will be needed by 2015 in order to avert more than seven million deaths. It is clear that continued support to HIV prevention and treatment is a necessary investment, even in these difficult times.
The United States remains the global leader in fighting HIV/AIDS, providing 54 percent of all donor government funds for global HIV/AIDS. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, the U.S. has committed to support treatment for more than 4 million people, prevention of more than 12 million new HIV infections and care for more than 12 million people. But saving lives must be a shared responsibility. It is critical that all countries step up to the plate to reach ambitious and aggressive goals.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a critical vehicle for this full range of stakeholders to contribute and heighten their commitment to the fight. Showing its strong support, the Obama Administration has made the first-ever, multi-year U.S. commitment to the Fund.
Only a few short years ago, many thought it would not be possible to provide HIV treatment, care and prevention services in resource-limited settings. Thanks to bold leadership from the United States and other partners, the global community proved the skeptics wrong.
We must continue to build upon our successes in fighting HIV/AIDS through a shared global response and smart investments. The United States calls on the rest of the world to demonstrate their commitment so we can save even more lives.