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Published: 19 Oct. 2011
Ability to have an AIDS-free generation by 2015
Joint Statement from Michael Elliott, President and CEO of ONE and Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED)
"Thirty years ago a discovery was made that changed the world - and not for the better. HIV/AIDS currently infects 34 million men, women, and children, and more than 29 million have died. Infection rates have been especially high on the continent of Africa.
"Next July, the United States will host more than 20,000 AIDS scientists and advocates at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. - the first time the event has been on these shores since 1990. Now is the perfect time for the United States to once again play a leadership role in ending the AIDS crisis.
"Where once a positive diagnosis meant almost certain suffering and death, that is no longer the case. There are now 6.6 million people receiving treatment for HIV, compared to just 100,000 in 2002. They are the living proof that U.S. programs like the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and our contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have been real game-changers in the race to defeat this disease. Our national commitment has been shared by both Republicans and Democrats. President Clinton scaled up our domestic response in the early 1990s. President Bush led an historic commitment to tackle the disease globally. President Obama has continued this policy and expanded U.S. commitment to the Global Fund and better integrated other health needs.
"But despite great progress, for every person who goes on treatment, nearly two more are infected. There are an estimated nine million people still in need of treatment. More than 370,000 children are infected with HIV each year. If we are to defeat the disease that has caused such enormous human suffering we must commit to forge ahead, to be bold and ambitious, without reservation. We must not waver nor slow down - to do so will allow the blight of AIDS to accelerate again, killing millions more, creating millions more orphans, and starving developing nations of the brainpower needed to work their way out of extreme poverty and weak economies.
"There is no need for that to happen. New ground-breaking science has led to progress on the development of an AIDS vaccine and a microbicide gel to protect women, as well as new evidence that shows an HIV-positive individual on antiretroviral treatment is up to 96% less likely to transmit the virus to others. Such momentum shows that we can turn this tragedy around. We might actually see the beginning of the end of AIDS - if we have the political will.
"ONE and (RED) are calling on President Obama to focus his Administration on defeating HIV and stepping up U.S. global leadership in this arena. We ask that the President set specific and measurable goals with deadlines. Those goals should include the following:
ONE is a global grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2.5 million people that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressing political leaders to support smart, effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. ONE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Abuja, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Johannesburg.
For more information please visit www.ONE.org.
About (RED)TMand (PRODUCT)REDTM
(RED) engages business and consumer power in the fight against AIDS. To date, (RED) partners and events have generated over $180 million for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This money has supported HIV/AIDS programs that have reached more than 7.5 million people affected by AIDS in Africa. Current (PRODUCT)RED Proud Partners include: American Express (UK only), Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Dell, Gap, Hallmark (US only), Nike, Penfolds and Starbucks and Special Edition partners include: Beats by Dr. Dre, Belvedere, Girl Skateboards, Nanda Home, Shazam, Solange Azagury-Partridge and Timbuk2. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund. On World AIDS Day 2010, (RED) launched "The AIDS Free Generation is Due in 2015" campaign. (RED) is joining the global health community in raising funds and awareness to help eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 2015 and helping to realize the first AIDS-free generation in nearly thirty years. Learn more at www.joinred.com.
About The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents an innovative approach to international health financing. Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 22.4 billion for more than 1,000 programs in 150 countries (as of 30 June 2011). To date, programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 7.7 million lives by providing AIDS treatment for 3.2 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 8.2 million people and 190 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases. (RED)TM is the Global Fund's largest private sector contributor. For more information, visit www.theglobalfund.org.