WASHINGTON - The State Department told Congress on
Wednesday the U.S. worldwide AIDS relief program is helping more
than 42 million people prevent the transmission of the disease.
"People are alive today because the United States has turned its
words into action," the second annual report to Congress said.
Funding for condoms and related activities rose to $65.7 million
last year, a $20.5 million increase over 2004, while $75.6
million was spent on abstinence and fidelity programs, a boost of
Birth control measures are getting more funding from the
administration even though many of its supporters disapprove of
condom use - a surprising development.
Also unexpected were a rise in overall spending this year to $3.2
billion from $2.8 billion a year ago and President Bush's request
to Congress for more than $4 billion for next year. These figures
were in sharp contrast to Bush's proposed cuts in social welfare
programs at home to help offset a fraction of the giant growth of
Bush launched the AIDS relief program in 2003 to fight the
disease in more than 120 countries. At that time, an estimated
50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa, which is especially
hard-hit, were receiving HIV drugs. Two years later, the report
said, 395,000 people in 12 sub-Saharan countries were receiving
"In much of the developing world, hope for the future has been a
victim of this scourge," the report said. "At last, however, hope
has begun to be reborn."