The President of United States, Barack Obama has promoted the fight against AIDS with a new objective of providing treatment to more than six million people around the world by the year 2013. Initially, the goal was set at four million people globally.
As the World AIDS day was marked on Thursday, Obama urged world leaders to step up their efforts to combat AIDS. He also urged China to increase its donations to provide drugs to counter the effects of AIDS.
The immediate former US president Bush spoke to the Washington event by satellite. Bush sought to make HIV and AIDS a priority in his administration when he was in power. The event was sponsored by ONE campaign.
Advocacy groups were happy with the new goals set by the US. The United States is the largest single AIDS donor. The annual funding for AIDS and HIV programs reduced to 15 billion dollars. This is well below the 24 billion dollars UN agencies expected by 2015.
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New HIV infections fell from 3.1 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2010. On the other hand, the number of people who have access to HIV combating drugs rose from 400,000 in 2003 to 6.65 million in 2010.
While these figures might be impressive, the number of people living with AIDS globally is more than 34 million. According to research studies, HIV drugs reduce the spread of the virus to the patient’s partner by up to 96 percent.
Obama also said that as part of the goal to achieve a generation free of AIDS, his government would be providing anti retroviral drugs to 1.5 million expectant mothers who are HIV-positive.
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