Chicago Tribune (12.02.2013)
The Chicago Tribune reported that President Barack Obama marked World AIDS Day by announcing increased US support for domestic and international HIV/AIDS efforts. Obama planned to redirect $100 million toward National Institutes of Health research seeking an HIV cure that would make lifelong therapies unnecessary.
Obama pledged up to $5 billion to the Global Fund, promising that the United States would give $1 for every $2 pledged by other donors throughout the next three years. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also has pledged up to $500 million for the Global Fund, an international financing institution dedicated to eliminating HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria.
Obama also signed legislation to extend the successful US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which addressed HIV on a global scale. PEPFAR funding has fallen 12 percent since 2010, prompting critics to complain that Obama has not shown as much commitment as President George Bush, who invested $15 billion in PEPFAR. Obama argued that PEPFAR’s scope has expanded without additional expense.
The United Nations and the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that the United States was the largest donor to HIV/AIDS efforts in low- and middle-income countries. Donor-government HIV/AIDS funding has remained flat worldwide since 2008.