U.S. readies a new phase of worldwide AIDS assistance
By Andrew Quinn, ReutersWASHINGTON -- The United States is ready to shift the focus of its global AIDS programs from emergency medical support to building sustainable health systems, U.S. officials said on Monday as they announced that Washington would host the world AIDS conference in 2012.
December 2, 2009, 9:57 am TWN
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration was strengthening its commitment to fighting AIDS and would take a first step early next year by ending a longtime ban on HIV-positive foreign visitors.
“We have to make sure that our programs foster conditions that improve people's lives and in turn promote stability, prosperity and security,” Clinton told a meeting to announce the decision to bring the 2012 world AIDS conference to Washington, the first time it will be held on U.S. soil since 1990.
“The return of the conference to the United States is the result of years of dedicated advocacy to end a misguided policy based on fear, rather than science,” International AIDS Society President-elect Elly Katabira said in a statement.
Clinton and other officials said the broader change would center on PEPFAR, the US$18.8 billion program begun by former President George W. Bush, which has become the largest international health initiative dedicated to a single disease.
Eric Goosby, President Barack Obama's global AIDS coordinator, said he would announce later this week a five-year strategy for PEPFAR that would see the emphasis shift from emergency interventions such as providing drugs to longer-term efforts to improve basic healthcare services.