As a part of World AIDS Day, President Obama today announced new U.S. commitments to fighting HIV and AIDS. First, he promised $50 million more in funding towards domestic HIV/AIDS treatment, and he increased the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief goal of people treated for HIV/AIDS by from four million to six million by 2013.
During his speech at George Washington University at an event with the theme, “The Beginning of the End of AIDS” Obama received a standing ovation for the increased commitment.
“The rate of new infections may be going down elsewhere, but it's not going down here in America," the president said. “When new infections among young black gay men increase by nearly 50 percent in 3 years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter.” According to the CDC, “1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection and one in five are unaware of their infection.”
In addition to Obama, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton spoke via satellite. The event was sponsored by (Red), an anti-AIDS organization started by U2 front-man Bono and One, an organization that helps fight poverty around the world.
Indeed, the United States' fight against AIDS was something Obama was able to site as a bipartisan success. "To Congress, keep working together and keep the commitments you've made intact. At a time when so much in Washington divides us, the fight against this disease has united us across parties and across presidents," he said. “And it shows that we can do big things when Republicans and Democrats put their common humanity before politics.