Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Obama Increases AIDS Funding Obama Increases AIDS Funding

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Health Care / HEALTH CARE

Obama Increases AIDS Funding

President Barack Obama makes remarks on World AIDS Day , Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, at George Washington University in Washington.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

December 1, 2011

Obama's Standing O on World AIDS Day

President Obama, who’s been under pressure from AIDS advocacy groups to do more to help patients with the virus, announced new funding for treating Americans on Thursday and said the U.S. would try to reach two million more patients overseas.

Obama said the goal would be to treat 6 million people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS - a 50 percent increase over the current goal of 4 million. Officials said this wouldn't come through higher spending but rather through making the program more efficient.


"In the area of treatment, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has driven down its cost per year per patient on treatment from over $1100 to $335 in FY 2011," the White House said in a statement.

"This translates into more lives being saved, and this continued focus on lowering costs and finding efficiencies will allow us to achieve these ambitious targets with existing resources."

AIDS infects about 34 million people globally, according to the United Nations, and has killed close to 30 million. There is no vaccine and no cure for the virus but drugs can control the infection and keep people healthy. And recent research shows that treating people can also help keep them from infecting others. so advocates and the Obama administration are now embracing a philosophy of treatment as prevention.

In the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.2 million people have HIV, 6,500 are on waiting lists for these drugs. Obama said he'd raise spending for domestic treatment programs by $50 million.

“We’re committing an additional $15 million for the Ryan White program that supports care provided by HIV medical clinics across the country. Let’s keep their doors open so they can keep saving lives. And we’re committing an additional $35 million for state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs,” Obama said in a speech in Washington.

The White House says the new overseas initiatives will also aim to deliver drugs 1.5 million infected pregnant women to protect their newborns from HIV; distribute 1 billion condoms over the next two years; and pay for 4.7 million men to be circumcised in eastern and southern Africa over the next two years. Research has shown that men who are circumcised are less likely to become infected. 

Former president George W. Bush addressed the audience via satellite from Tanzania, a country that has greatly benefited from PEPFAR, which Bush initiated.

"We are a blessed nation in the United States of America, and I believe we are required to support effective programs that save lives," Bush said.

Obama called Bush's policy on AIDS one of his "greatest legacies." Obama and Bush were joined by former president Bill Clinton and other global advocates for AIDS relief including singer Bono.

Last month, the U.N said deaths from AIDS are slowing. But the CDC reported that three-fourths of U.S. HIV patients were not getting the treatment they need to stay healthy and lower the risk of infecting others.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Health Care Edge

Get your daily dose of National Journal's health care coverage.

Sign up form for Health Care Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Structural Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | New Haven, CT
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Quality Systems Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Greensboro, NC
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
Senior Water Resource Project Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers | Fairfax, VA
Civil Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Steamboat Springs, CO
Entry Level Geotechnical Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Albany, NY
Sales Engineer-Process Automation/Instrumentation
American Society of Civil Engineers
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
comments powered by Disqus