"On this day, let us rededicate ourselves to continuing our work until we reach the day we know is possible -- when no child has to know the pain of HIV/AIDS and no life is limited by this virus."
--President Barack Obama, World AIDS Day 2014 Proclamation
Today is World AIDS Day -- a day where the world comes together to remember those we've lost to HIV/AIDS and to recommit ourselves to the international fight against this devestating disease. What began as the first-ever global health day is now an important opportunity to measure the progress we've made and the work we have left to do to achieve our ultimate goal: an AIDS-free generation. In fact, this year's theme is "Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation."
Since taking office, President Obama has made the realization of an AIDS-free generation a top priority. That is why he released the nation's first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010. The Strategy's goals are to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care and improve outcomes for people living with HIV, and reduce HIV-related health disparities. As a result, the world has seen a seismic shift in the HIV epidemic -- both in the U.S. and in partner countries. New HIV infections have dropped by 50 percent since the peak of the epidemic. More people living with HIV know their status, and more people are on antiretroviral medications.
But HIV/AIDS still claims too many lives. Right now, 35 million people are living with HIV, and 1.5 million people die every year. Together, as a global community, we must hold strong to our commitment to reach an AIDS-free generation. So here's a look at how the President and his Administration are working to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in the fights against HIV/AIDS:
In the World
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) represents America's commitment to saving lives and the shared responsibility of all global partners toward achieving an AIDS-Free Generation. This year, PEPFAR has surpassed many of its commitments and goals as demonstrated by these statistics, and is announcing new initiatives for the future:
To continue this progress, PEPFAR is launching two new initiatves that will move us closer to stopping the spread of this disease:
The Obama administration has accelerated progress along the HIVE care continuum by expanding and refocusing programs to improve access to care and general outcomes. The Administration has: