At the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington on Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged additional funding for a number of overseas initiatives toward the goal of what she called “an AIDS-free generation.” The Obama administration late last year called for boosting efforts to eliminate mother-to-child (MTC) HIV infections, reducing the risk of HIV infection among adults, and ensuring treatment access.
“We will not back off, we will not back down, we will fight for the resources necessary to achieve this historic milestone,” Clinton told attendees.
The United States added 600,000 people over a six-month period this fiscal year to the number of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy in poor countries, Clinton said. That is up from 700,000 added in all of fiscal 2011, she said. The United States is treating about half of all developing-world patients receiving ARVs, and is on target to provide them to 6 million people by the end of 2013.
Of the $157 million in additional funding announced, $80 million will go toward eliminating MTC infections by 2015, with a focus of reaching mothers in remote areas, Clinton said. Another $40 million will be used to ratchet-up medical male circumcisions in South Africa, offering the procedure to nearly half-a-million men and boys over the next year, she said. The United States has since December supported more than 400,000 male circumcisions, a procedure that reduces a man’s risk of acquiring HIV by more than 60 percent. The remaining $37 million will be used for HIV prevention research and services for populations at the highest risk of infection.
“If we want to save more lives, we need to go to where the virus is and get there as quickly as possible,” Clinton said.
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