December 2nd, 2013
03:49 PM ET
5 months ago

Obama pledges support for global fight against AIDS, issues challenge

Washington (CNN) – On the 25th anniversary week of World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama issued a new pledge Monday along with a challenge to global AIDS advocates.

At a White House meeting, he announced that the U.S. government would contribute one dollar for every two dollars pledged for the Global Fund over the next three years.

He said the fund-which helps fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world-is "helping over six million people in over 140 countries receive antiretroviral therapy." He then quickly added that those gathered should make sure they "don't leave our money on the table."

The President also announced a new initiative at the National Institutes of Health that would redirect $100 million towards developing new drug therapies that would help put HIV into remission "without requiring lifelong therapies, or better yet, eliminate it completely."

Obama added that in the last 25 years, research, early diagnosis and treatment of the disease has made it so that, "the disease that was once a death sentence now comes with a good chance of a healthy and productive life."

He reflected on the changes, saying that when the disease first appeared on a global scale, people knew very little about it and that, "what we did know was the devastation that it inflicted, striking down vibrant men and women in the prime of their lives, and spreading from city to city and country to country seemingly overnight."

The President also listed several successes in the AIDS battle during his presidency, including recently signed legislation that he said would allow "research into organ donations between people with HIV."

He also said that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, "millions of insured Americans will be able to get tested free of charge."

"Americans who were uninsured will now be able to have access to affordable health care coverage, and beginning in January, no American will be again denied health insurance because of their HIV status," he added.

World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year, and organizers use the day to highlight the epidemic. According to UNAIDS.org, an arm of the United Nations, there are 35.3 million people living with HIV around the world. The group says that the "number of people dying from AIDS-related causes each year has declined from a high of 2.3 million in 2005 to 1.6 million in 2012."

The President told those gathered to honor those who died while battling AIDS and note how things have changed.

"This is a time for remembering the friends and loved ones that we have lost, celebrating the extraordinary progress thanks to some people in this room that we have been able to make, and, most importantly, recommitting ourselves to the mission that we share, which is achieving an AIDS-free generation."

Secretary of State John Kerry and Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius also addressed the gathering.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. just asking

    did he acknowledge the huge roll george bush played in this effort? didn't think so. as usual, it's all about obama.

    just wondering, where will he get all this money to donate? doesn't congress have to approve this?

    December 2, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I read something yesterday that said AIDS is actually declining in Africa, being down some 10% from a decade ago. By contrast, there seems to be a rapidly growing epidemic in some Arab countries over the last decade. One is seeing growth at a rate of almost 25% per year.

    December 2, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Obama will throw money at anything, in order to bankrupt America.

    Doing something that actually does good........? He isn't too concerned about that. Everything he does, is entirely political, and NOT humanitarian.

    December 2, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Abbey

    This president is way late to the game. His predecessor was far more effective in dealing with this terrible epidemic. Of course he spends way more time blaming others for his own shortcomings, so expect more of the same.

    December 2, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. California

    FACT: Bush gave much more to the fight against AIDS than Obama has.

    December 2, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Thomas

    "Americans who were uninsured will now be able to have access to affordable health care coverage, and beginning in January, no American will be again denied health insurance because of their HIV status,"

    Little steps at a time .

    December 2, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Tommy G

    Obama just jetted around the country on the USA taxpayer dime in order to raise over $20 miiilion for the Democrats. I think it would be very appropriate for the Democrat Party to contribute all that USA taxpayer funded money to this cause. I'm sure the Democrats would agree with this.

    December 2, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    did he acknowledge the huge roll george bush played in this effort? didn't think so. as usual, it's all about obama.

    just wondering, where will he get all this money to donate? doesn't congress have to approve this?
    ***************
    What makes you think the GOP members, who objected to relief for Hurrcan Sandy, would ever find it in their cold, barren hearts to help people with a disease that is still associated by the ignorant with being Gay? By the way, would you prefer it if Obama also mentioned the unwillingness Ronald Reagan had in even addressing the issue of AIDS as well as helping W to rehabilitate his image from a hapless frat boy?

    December 2, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Haha, wow, so very ridiculous from the Teatrolls. Yes, Bush contributed greatly, and yes, Obama has acknowledged it quite publicly in the past (and you can't tell just from the partial reporting in this article if Obama said anything about it in this instance either). Clinton, through CGI, has done even more than any of them. This is a good thing and it's freekin hilarious to get a great example of just how far the Teatrolls will go to slander anything Obama does. People have repeatedly said that if he cured cancer the GOP/Teatrolls would still find a way to complain about it...close enough.

    And boohoo, guys, booo-freekin-hoooo. Acknowledge the undeniable mathematical contribution Bush and the GOP made to the national debt, both during his administration and during Obama's, by passing and defending the Bush tax cuts, unfunded Medicare Part D and unfunded Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and then maybe we'll entertain your attempts to give ole Dubya a little credit for something nice as well.

    December 2, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, dear. GOPers are going to grumble about this too? How predictable.

    December 2, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    @ real tom paine "What makes you think the GOP members, who objected to relief for Hurrcan Sandy, would ever find it in their cold, barren hearts to help people with a disease that is still associated by the ignorant with being Gay?"
    (sarcasm alert)
    If we just let the radical right take over, being gay will be illegal, the country will be forced to pray in unison, and the disease will go away right? Plus the first thing a dictator without a birth certificate does is to help cure disease so this is yet more proof of the evil empire Obama is trying to establish.

    December 2, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Have any Texans been able to sign up for Cruz/Cornyn health care?

    December 2, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |