New AIDS Efforts Focus on Prevention

December 1st was World AIDS Day, and the United States announced the launch of a new five-year strategy. Building on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched by former President George W. Bush, the new system promises to serve the medical needs of people with HIV/AIDS and their communities, and to scale up on prevention.

A press release on Media Newswire quotes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as saying that besides current efforts toward HIV/AIDS prevention, education and rapid access to medication, the new initiative will increase public awareness, get sustainable services to people at earlier stages and reduce stigma for victims.

“Obviously, our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment,” Clinton said.

An estimated 33 million people live with HIV and 2.7 million new infections crop up every year. Close to 2 million people die of HIV every year. But the PEPFAR program has made a difference, said Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator. In 2009, the program supported life-saving HIV/AIDS medications for more than 2.4 million people. Efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the same year resulted in the birth of 100,000 healthy babies to HIV-positive mothers.

To read the press release, please click here: