Bill and Melinda Gates Commend President Obama's Commitment to Increasing HIV Treatment and Prevention | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Statement from Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
President Obama today proposed a lifesaving gift to people living with HIV in the poorest communities around the world. Building on the legacy of President George W. Bush, the president set a bold new target for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – getting ARV treatment to an additional two million people, increasing the reach of the program by 50 percent by the end of 2013. PEPFAR will also focus on scaling up medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and condom distribution, each a proven prevention intervention that saves lives and saves money.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commends the Obama administration and the bipartisan coalition in Congress that supports closing the gap in access to ARV treatment. In low-income countries, still only half of people in need are receiving treatment.
We also applaud the president’s call for all countries to meet their commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a global health leader with a strong track record of delivering value for money and saving lives in hard-to-reach places. Programs supported by the Global Fund have saved the lives of 7.7 million people since 2002.
In this challenging global economy, these increases in coverage are possible because PEPFAR programs are becoming smarter and more efficient about how they spend limited resources. Improvements in efficiency are crucial to maintaining the tremendous progress the world has made in curbing the AIDS pandemic and saving many more lives.