Ironically, it’s always the most vulnerable that get hit first..and hardest…The ones who can afford it least, always seem to take the major impact when economies falter.
I have to say, that it’s incredibly gratifying to read that President Obama plans to double Global Aids treatment by 2013.
My dream would be to see a much fairer world, where human rights are unequivocally acknowledged and protected..where no one has to die because of hunger or preventable disease..where gender rights are respected, and women and girls have the same rights as men and boys in terms of education and renumeration.. Even though I’m a dreamer, these things are not impossible.
AIDS Activists Applaud Obama Announcement To Double Global AIDS Treatment By 2013
Crucial Reiteration of Global Fund Commitment
Washington, DC: President Barack Obama today announced that the U.S. will get 6 million people access to antiretroviral AIDS treatment through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief–doubling the pace of scale up for the program. Speaking on World AIDS Day along with Presidents Bush and Clinton, President Obama committed the U.S. to using emerging science to begin to end the global AIDS crisis—a concept unimaginable just a few years ago.
“The President just put a powerful down payment toward the end of the AIDS crisis,” said Matthew Kavanagh, Director of US Advocacy for Health GAP. “With AIDS treatment proven both to save lives and halt new infections, expanding access is essential to getting ahead of the virus and President Obama’s bold leadership could be a first step toward reaching all those in need.”
Currently approximately 6.6 million people have access to ARVs in low and middle income countries—3.2 million of them as of last year through PEPFAR. A new PEPFAR treatment target of 6 million people by 2013 means doubling the number supported by PEPFAR in just 3 years. Very important for getting ahead of the wave of deaths and new infections, this target reflects doubling the rate at which people are added to ARV treatment under PEPFAR from an average 600,000 per year to 1.2 million over the coming years.
NIH-funded research released this year showed that anti-retroviral treatment for HIV+ people reduced the risk of HIV transmission by 96%–a breakthrough finding that has driven much of the conversation.
As a response, African countries, U.S. leaders, and activists are increasingly focused on the task of reaching those in need with proven interventions including ARVs, medical male circumcision, condoms, etc. Following the U.S. Secretary of State’s call for countries to step up their HIV response in order to defeat AIDS last month, the Kenyan government announced a new goal of reaching one million people with HIV on treatment by the end of 2015—more than doubling the current 460,000. Uganda’s Minister of State for Health Hon. Dr Richard Nduhuura issued a statement committing his government "to doubling the pace of scale up of the use of ARVs for treatment and prevention."
The President also reiterated the U.S. commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. President Obama made the first ever three-year pledge to the Global Fund, though Congress did not pass the President’s full funding request for 2011 and 2012 appropriations are not yet complete.
“The Global Fund board cancelled its planned funding round for this year due to lack of funding. But President Obama’s strong words today illustrate the disconnect between Heads of State who are committing to end the AIDS crisis and donor-country representatives to the Global Fund board who have no plan to ensure continued financing. We call on the U.S. and all donor countries to hold an emergency donor conference to ensure the Global Fund is open for new business—the business of ending AIDS—this year,” said Asia Russell, Director of International Policy for Health GAP.