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.
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’s 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’s aim is to ensure our programs have maximum impact, as this Administration’s 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 – 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)