amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR Applauds President Obama’s Bold Commitment to Begin to End the AIDS Epidemic at Home and Abroad

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager
(212) 806-1602

NEW YORK, December 1, 2011—
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research on World AIDS Day applauded remarks made by President Barack Obama in which he renewed the United States’ commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic both domestically and abroad, and urged the Administration to increase its research investments.

The President gave his remarks at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., at a World AIDS Day event that also featured former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Alicia Keys, Bono, and other activists. The event was sponsored by ONE and the (RED) Campaign.

In his speech, the President announced that his administration will deliver antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to six million people—up from four million today—around the world by the end of 2013, as well as deliver ARVs to 1.5 million HIV-positive pregnant women to halt mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

Additionally, the President pledged $50 million to help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. by allocating funds to pay for ARVs for people living with HIV, as well as funneling dollars to clinics in areas where HIV transmissions have increased.

The President’s speech comes at a time of increasing optimism in the scientific community that accelerated progress in reducing HIV incidence and mortality is within our reach given recent scientific breakthroughs in prevention and treatment.

“President Obama recognizes that we have an unprecedented opportunity to make dramatic progress in response to AIDS around the world and in the U.S.—if we have the political will and the necessary resources,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “We’re very pleased the President is taking a stand against AIDS and is investing more money in our fight against the epidemic. We know what we need to do to end AIDS, but we need his continued leadership to help us reach our shared goal.”

“We commend the President for following the science and leading the world in an effort to begin to end this pandemic,” said Chris Collins, amfAR’s vice president and director of public policy. “Now the challenge is to implement the vision of an AIDS-free generation. It will take resources, finding more efficient means of delivering services, and making tough choices about what is most effective, but for the first time we see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Ultimately, Frost said, investing in the right science, prevention, and treatment now will help us end AIDS more quickly.

“If we invest strategically now and continue to fund cutting-edge research, we can alter the trajectory of the epidemic and accelerate progress toward a vaccine and, ultimately, a cure,” Frost said. “Beginning to end AIDS could be the legacy of our generation.”

About amfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $325 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.