In August, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to seven African countries - Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde - to speak about the United States' continued commitment to Africa.
Throughout her trip, Secretary Clinton highlighted the fight against global AIDS as a central piece of the foreign policy and global health agenda outlined by President Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.
During her visits to Angola and South Africa, Secretary Clinton was accompanied by Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. In both countries, Secretary Clinton showcased how the U.S. Government, through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is working in partnership with nations around the world to combat HIV/AIDS.
In Luanda, Secretary Clinton visited "Hope" hospital, a hospital that treats and cares for Angolans living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Here, Secretary Clinton and Angolan Minister of External Relations Assunção Afonso dos Anjos signed the Angola Partnership Framework to Combat HIV/AIDS."
Through this five-year strategic plan, the two governments and other partners will work together to position Angola to address its HIV epidemic over the long term, supporting the national HIV/AIDS strategy through service delivery, policy reform, and coordinated financial commitments.
Speaking to the importance of Partnership Frameworks, such as the one signed in Angola, Secretary Clinton noted that they will advance PEPFAR's goal of supporting a country-owned response to HIV/AIDS.
"This framework represents a new approach to our government's fight against HIV/AIDS. It emphasizes a bottom-up approach tailored for and by the country we are assisting. It represents an expansion of local capacity and health care systems that can last over time. It represents long-term planning and more intensive pursuit of prevention. It represents the use of measurements to assure effectiveness and accountability. It will allow for greater coordination among the many parties involved in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS," said Clinton.
In South Africa, Secretary Clinton also illustrated PEPFAR's commitment to supporting national leadership during her visit to Cullinan Antiretroviral Therapy Clinic. Funded jointly by the South African Government and PEPFAR, the clinic works to provide accessible HIV/AIDS services to the community.
Here, Secretary Clinton spoke to the clinic's patients and staff about America's commitment to working in partnership with host nations to combat HIV/AIDS.
"We have the challenge that everyone is aware of. We have to make up for some lost time, but we are looking forward. And I am very pleased that we have some people here who are willing to talk about their experience at the clinic, because the Minister and I can talk and our distinguished guests can talk, but what's important is what this clinic mean in the lives of the people in this area and what it represents for what can be done for people across South Africa," she said.
Ambassador Goosby, who was also present at this event, was honored to speak with staff and patients. He was especially moved by the stories of two people living with HIV/AIDS - a woman in her late 30s and a man in his late 40s.
"These two people spoke about receiving their diagnoses, the stigma they faced, and the toll HIV took on their health and outlook on life. But despite these hardships, they were also able to speak about coming to terms with their status, the restoration of health through treatment, and their renewed hopes for the future. Without this clinic, these two individuals, and many others, would have to travel a significant distance to receive life-saving treatment and care services, or would have had to forgo these services altogether," he said.
He also noted that seventy percent of the services provided at Cullinan clinic are funded by the Government of South Africa and the remaining 30 percent are supported by PEPFAR. He said that this partnership model is positive because, ultimately, each partner government is responsible for the health of its population. He stated that PEPFAR will work to support efforts like these that foster a country-owned and sustainable response.
Both Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Goosby look forward to continuing to support efforts throughout Africa to combat HIV/AIDS.
"The Obama administration has said that we want to not only target HIV/AIDS, but do it efficiently, and fulfill our commitment to the amount of money that was appropriated before and add to it. And that's what we intend to do," said Clinton.
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