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.