Obama offers up to $5 billion to tackle AIDS (Update)

December 2, 2013
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking at a world AIDS Day event, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

US President Barack Obama on Monday pledged up to $5 billion to fight HIV/AIDS as long as the rest of the world collectively offers double that amount.

Obama urged other countries to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as part of a White House event marking World AIDS Day which fell on Sunday.

Obama also announced a new plan to seek a cure for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, which will see $100 million go towards the development of therapies at the National Institutes of Health.

"Don't leave our money on the table," Obama said, calling for a new global effort to spur funding for AIDS research.

"It's been inspiring to see the countries most affected by this disease vastly increase their own contributions to this fight—in some cases, providing more than donor countries do.

"That ought to inspire all of us to give more, to do more, so we can save more lives."

The initiative will see Washington donate one dollar for every two dollars collectively offered by other nations up to a US total of $5 billion over the next three years.

Obama also announced that the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR), a program started by his predecessor George W. Bush, had smashed through a target of treating six million people.

"I'm proud to announce that we've not only reached our goal, we've exceeded our treatment target. We've helped 6.7 million people receive lifesaving treatment," Obama said.

Obama also said that the United States planned next year to convene a conference with its global partners to set common goals for battling the disease.

The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) welcomed Obama's announcements, including the $100 million for the search for an HIV cure.

"We cannot achieve the President's goal of an AIDS-free generation without continued investment in the research necessary to ultimately help us find a cure for this disease," said Rowena Johnston, amfAR's vice president and director of research.

The Obama administration says it has improved and expanded on PEPFAR—which the president described as a "phenomenal" achievement of his predecessor George W. Bush.

The program has now reached 1.5 million pregnant women with HIV with antiretroviral drugs to prevent HIV transmission to their children.

It also marked a milestone in June with the birth of the one millionth infant born HIV-free because of PEPFAR's support.

Explore further: Obama to announce new steps to combat AIDS

Related Stories

Obama to announce new steps to combat AIDS

December 1, 2011

(AP) -- President Barack Obama is renewing the U.S. commitment to ending AIDS Thursday, setting new goals for getting more people access to life-saving drugs and boosting spending on treatment in the U.S. by $50 million ...

Obama implores supporters for help on health law crisis

November 19, 2013

President Barack Obama delved into his grass-roots organizing past Monday, appealing to his most faithful supporters to help him out of the political maelstrom over the botched rollout of his health care law.

Recommended for you

Videos reveal how HIV spreads in real time

October 2, 2015

How retroviruses like HIV spread in their hosts had been unknown—until a Yale team devised a way to watch it actually happen in a living organism. The elaborate and sometimes surprising steps the virus takes to reach and ...

Researchers find proteins that shut down HIV-1

September 30, 2015

A pair of studies by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Trento in Italy, and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, point to a promising new anti-retroviral strategy for combating ...

An antibody that can attack HIV in new ways

September 11, 2015

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.