U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice today said the Obama administration is mounting an extraordinary effort to defeat HIV/AIDS.
On World AIDS Day, Ms. Rice said the world honors heroes in the fight against HIV/AIDS and join in remembrance with those who have lost loved ones.
“Above all, we reaffirm our commitment to defeating HIV/AIDS. I am proud to join President Obama’s call to achieve an AIDS-free generation.” -Ms. Rice
She noted that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has transformed the lives of millions of people since it was created by President Bush in 2003. She reported that in the current fiscal year alone, it has provided antiretroviral treatment to more than 3.9 million people.
“At the same time, PEPFAR has become more efficient, driving down costs per patient from over $1100 to $335 per year. As a consequence, record numbers of lives have been improved by PEPFAR programs under the current Administration.” -Ms. Rice
Ms. Rice noted that President Obama announced just recently he will increase treatment targets from 4 million to 6 million people by the end of 2013.
“We ramp up our targets for other prevention methods, moving us closer to the AIDS-free generation that we know is now possible.” -Ms. Rice
She highlighted that there is far more work to do. She cited that to this day, AIDS-related illnesses have claimed more than 25 million lives, exceeding the death toll of any conflict during 30 years of struggle. She stressed HIV/AIDS has strained states, fractured families, and contributed enormously to the vicious cycle of global poverty that creates havens for those who wish to do harm.
“We urge our partners around the world to join us in doing more to eradicate this global threat.” – Ms. Rice
She stressed that an AIDS-free generation is an ambitious but achievable goal.
“President Bush really knocked it out of the park” – Bono, U2.