Obama administration commemorates World AIDS Day
November 30th, 2010
03:03 PM ET

Obama administration commemorates World AIDS Day

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House put up a large red ribbon on the north portico entrance Tuesday to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1.

President Obama announced a formal national HIV/AIDS strategy earlier this year that aims to reduce the number of new cases by 25 percent in the next five years.

Proclamation of President Obama as released by the White House
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On this World AIDS Day, as we approach the thirtieth year
of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, we reflect on the many Americans and
others around the globe lost to this devastating disease, and
pledge our support to the 33 million people worldwide who
live with HIV/AIDS. We also recommit to building on the great
strides made in fighting HIV, to preventing the spread of
the disease, to continuing our efforts to combat stigma and
discrimination, and to finding a cure.

Today, we are experiencing a domestic HIV epidemic that
demands our attention and leadership. My Administration
has invigorated our response to HIV by releasing the first
comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.
Its vision is an America in which new HIV infections are
rare, and when they do occur, all persons - regardless of age,
gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity,
or socio-economic circumstance - will have unfettered access to
high-quality, life-extending care.

Signifying a renewed level of commitment and urgency, the
National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States focuses on
comprehensive, evidence-based approaches to preventing HIV in
high-risk communities. It strengthens efforts to link and
retain people living with HIV into care, and lays out new steps
to ensure that the United States has the workforce necessary to
serve Americans living with HIV. The Strategy also provides a
path for reducing HIV-related health disparities by adopting
community-level approaches to preventing and treating this
disease, including addressing HIV-related discrimination.
Along with this landmark Strategy, we have also made
significant progress with the health reform law I signed this
year, the Affordable Care Act. For far too long, Americans
living with HIV and AIDS have endured great difficulties in
obtaining adequate health insurance coverage and quality care.
The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from using
HIV status and other pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny
health care coverage to children as of this year, and to all
Americans beginning in 2014. To ensure that individuals living
with HIV/AIDS can access the care they need, the Affordable
Care Act ends lifetime limits and phases out annual limits on
coverage. Starting in 2014, it forbids insurance companies from

charging higher premiums because of HIV status, and introduces
tax credits that will make coverage more affordable for all
Americans. This landmark law also provides access to insurance
coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan for
the uninsured with chronic conditions.

Our Government has a role to play in reducing stigma,
which is why my Administration eliminated the entry ban that
previously barred individuals living with HIV/AIDS from entering
the United States. As a result, the 2012 International AIDS
Conference will be held in Washington, D.C., the first time
this important meeting will be hosted by the United States in
over two decades. For more information about our commitment
to fighting this epidemic and the stigma surrounding it,
I encourage all Americans to visit: http://www.AIDS.gov.
Tackling this disease requires a shared response that
builds on the successes achieved to date. Globally, tens
of millions of people have benefited from HIV prevention,
treatment, and care programs supported by the American people.
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria support
anti-retroviral treatments for millions around the world.
My Administration has also made significant investments and
increases in our efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS at
home and abroad by implementing a comprehensive package of
proven prevention programs and improving the health of those
in developing countries. Additionally, the Global Health
Initiative integrates treatment and care with other
interventions to provide a holistic approach to improving the
health of people living with HIV/AIDS. Along with our global
partners, we will continue to focus on saving lives through
effective prevention activities, as well as other smart
investments to maximize the impact of each dollar spent.
World AIDS Day serves as an important reminder that
HIV/AIDS has not gone away. More than one million Americans
currently live with HIV/AIDS in the United States, and more than
56,000 become infected each year. For too long, this epidemic
has loomed over our Nation and our world, taking a devastating
toll on some of the most vulnerable among us. On World AIDS
Day, we mourn those we have lost and look to the promise of a
brighter future and a world without HIV/AIDS.

United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in
me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do
hereby proclaim December 1, 2010, as World AIDS Day. I urge the
Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,
officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction
of the United States, and the American people to join in
appropriate activities to remember the men, women, and children
who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and
comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord
two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States
of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

As released by the White House
On Wednesday, December 1st, Obama Administration officials and leaders in the AIDS community will speak at a World AIDS Day event at the White House to reflect on the lessons learned and the path forward in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the United States and around the world. The White House World AIDS Day Event will include keynote remarks as well as a panel discussion with HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates.

Throughout his career in public service, President Obama has been committed to fighting HIV/AIDS here at home and around the world. With the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) as a foundation, the President put forward an ambitious $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI) to combat HIV/AIDS, address other health challenges and assist partner countries to strengthen their health systems and build capacity to provide services sustainably. Through the GHI, the President’s aim is to ensure our programs have maximum impact, as this Administration’s focus is on outcomes, such as lives saved - not simply dollars spent. Since taking office, the number of those on antiretroviral treatment has nearly doubled to 3.2 million – up from 1.7 million in 2008, and under the GHI, the U.S. continues to be the global leader in funding for HIV/AIDS. The President proposed the largest request to date for PEPFAR for FY 2011. Additionally, in October, the Administration announced an unprecedented multi-year pledge of $4 billion for 2011-2013 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This pledge represents a 38% increase in U.S. support for the Global Fund, and is in addition to more than $5.1 billion provided to the Fund to date.

Domestically, the Office of National AIDS Policy released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy and Federal Implementation Plan for the United States with three key goals: reducing the number of new infections; increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV; and reducing HIV-related health disparities.

WHO: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes

Office of National AIDS Policy Director Jeffrey Crowley

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci

Dr. Adaora Adimora, Physician/Researcher, University of North Carolina

Dr. Moupali Das, Researcher, University of California San Francisco

Jennifer Kates, Vice President, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Chris Collins, Vice President and Director, Public Policy, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Reverend Kimberly Barnes, Metropolitan AME, Washington, DC

Topics: The Visuals • White House

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