For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), released the following statement on the occasion of World AIDS Day.
"On World AIDS Day, we join the global community to pay tribute to the more than 34 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and reaffirm our commitment to helping those in need.
It is a time of remembrance, as well as an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and the steps we must take today to realize an AIDS free generation.
Yesterday, Secretary Hillary Clinton laid out a plan showing precisely how our nation would achieve this vision. Grounded in the knowledge that new scientific advances and approaches have brought us to the tipping point in the fight against AIDS, the Blueprint for an AIDS Free Generation [PDF] outlines the specific steps we can take to accomplish our goals, including rapidly scaling-up core HIV prevention, treatment, and care interventions and focusing on women and girls to increase gender equality in HIV services.
Over the past 25 years, USAID has been at the forefront of the global AIDS response. In October, we joined a consortium of research partners in announcing an AIDS study published in the journal of Nature Medicine that offered new clues and a new approach that could help efforts to make an AIDS vaccine. Just last week, UNAIDS announced that new HIV infections in children dropped by 43% from 2003 to 2011. This progress is largely due to critical work we help support that ensures mothers living with HIV have access to treatment. However in sub-Saharan Africa, the region where 92% of the world’s HIV-positive pregnant women live, only 59% received treatment or prophylaxis during pregnancy and delivery last year. We are committed to addressing this gap and advancing the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV as part of the global effort to end preventable child death.
Although HIV/AIDS remains one of the world's most serious global health challenges, we are committed to realizing a safer and healthier future, where generations of children are born free from its shadow."
Last updated: November 30, 2012