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Fact Sheet: Extending and Improving the Lives of Those Living With HIV/AIDS

June 23, 2004

Today's Presidential Action

President Bush visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to discuss the need for providing treatment to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and to highlight the work of faith-based and community organizations as they seek to treat and care for Americans living with HIV/AIDS.

Today, the President announced:

The President's continued commitment to combating HIV/AIDS domestically is reinforced in his budget for FY 2005 with $17.1 billion in funding for domestic AIDS research, care, prevention, and treatment -- an increase of 27% since 2001. The President has increased funding for Global HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from $840 million in FY 2001 to a request of $2.8 billion in FY 2005 -- which more than triples the investment since 2001.

Background on Today's Presidential Action

Care and Treatment. Too many Americans with HIV/AIDS go without life-saving drugs. For those States that have reported patients waiting today for HIV-related medication through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the President has committed $20 million in new funding effective immediately to deliver lifesaving medications to men and women living with HIV/AIDS. The President supports the Ryan White CARE Act reauthorization and seeks to strengthen the program using the following principles as guidelines:

Prevention and Research. HIV/AIDS remains a serious public health threat. The President has supported increases in other programs helping Americans afflicted with HIV/AIDS: substance abuse treatment, which helps to prevent transmission through intravenous drug use, and Community Health Centers, which in low-income or rural areas, may provide the only source of treatment and support to HIV-infected individuals. The President continues to support efforts to promote prevention while encouraging research to combat this deadly disease. Efforts include:

Confronting the International HIV/AIDS Pandemic

The President's FY 2005 budget requests $2.8 billion for fighting AIDS globally, which more than triples the investment since 2001. In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion initiative to turn the tide in the global effort to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has killed at least 20 million of the more than 60 million people it has infected thus far, leaving 14 million orphans worldwide. Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus -- including three million children under the age of 15. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is helping some of the most affected countries in Africa and the Caribbean to extend and save lives afflicted by HIV/AIDS. The initiative will be used to provide antiretroviral drugs for 2 million HIV-infected people; prevent 7 million new infections, care for 10 million individuals and orphans infected and affected by the disease, and build the health system capacity in Africa and the Caribbean.

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

The First Year: During this first year, the Emergency Plan is providing care and support for approximately 1.1 million people and facilitating access to antiretroviral therapy for approximately 200,000. The Emergency Plan is using proven prevention methods with records of success, including the ABC model, bringing life-saving treatment where none previously existed which encourages testing, ensuring accountability by service providers, developing healthcare systems through the network model and fighting stigma.

Funding for People Most in Need: On February 23, 2004, the first $350 million in funding for the focus countries of the Emergency Plan was made available and began reaching people in need only two weeks later. The second distribution of funding -- $500 million -- will continue to build on prevention, treatment, and care efforts. In total, the Emergency Plan is spending $2.4 billion on global AIDS this year.

15th Country Added: Today, Vietnam has been added as the 15th focus country of the Emergency Plan. Vietnam is predicted to have an increase in HIV-infected persons from 130,000 in 2002 to one million by 2010, an eight-fold increase. Although still considered a localized epidemic, emerging trends indicate that HIV infection is spreading to the general population. Emergency Plan interventions through non-governmental organizations could prevent at least 660,000 new infections, and provide care for 65,000 people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including treatment for 13,000 HIV-infected people.

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