Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

National News
President's State of the Union Message to Congress and the Nation

January 29, 2003

The following is an excerpt from President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, as recorded by the New York Times:

"Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus including 3 million children under the age 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult population carries the infection. More than 4 million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent only 50,000 AIDS victims -- only 50,000 -- are receiving the medicine they need. Because the AIDS diagnosis is considered a death sentence, many do not seek treatment. Almost all who do are turned away.

"A doctor in rural South Africa describes his frustration. He says, 'We have no medicines. Many hospitals tell people, "You've got AIDS. We can't help you. Go home and die."'

"In an age of miraculous medicines, no person should have to hear those words. AIDS can be prevented. Antiretroviral drugs can extend life for many years. And the cost of those drugs has dropped from $12,000 a year to under $300 a year, which places a tremendous opportunity within our grasp.

"Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many. We have confronted and will continue to confront HIV/AIDS in our own country. And to meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa.

"This comprehensive plan will prevent 7 million new AIDS infections, treat at least 2 million people with life-extending drugs, and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS and for children orphaned by AIDS.

"I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean.

"This nation can lead the world in sparing innocent people from a plague of nature. And this nation is leading the world in confronting and defeating the man-made evil of international terrorism."

Back to other CDC news for January 29, 2003

Previous Updates

Excerpted from:
New York Times

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.