Cameroon and America Building on Success in Fighting AIDS; Robert P. Jackson, U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon; Op-Ed in Le Jour and Eden Newspapers; Cameroon


December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day is both a day of remembrance and a day of celebration. We must all remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS. It's in their honor that we work each and every day to provide HIV prevention, treatment and care to millions across the globe.

Yet, it's also a day to celebrate those whose lives have been improved and saved in Cameroon and throughout the world, thanks to global efforts to fight this devastating disease. On this World AIDS Day, it is important to remember that we have a shared responsibility to build on the success achieved to date by making smart investments that will ultimately save more lives.

And there is much success to build on. Through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States has decided to triple its assistance in Cameroon for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment to approximately $14 million over the coming year. This assistance will focus on programs that prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, improve blood security, and advance research. In tripling our assistance and in determining the most effective avenues for delivering this assistance, the United States will collaborate with partners throughout the health sector who are working to prevent and reduce HIV infection in Cameroon.

U.S. support for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment continues to grow, despite difficult economic times. Building on the success of PEPFAR and other global health programs, President Barack Obama has also put forward an ambitious Global Health Initiative, which will support coordinated programs aimed at reducing lives lost from HIV/AIDS and other health challenges. And through U.S. investments in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, many more people will benefit from prevention, care and treatment.

Working with Cameroon, we are also becoming smarter about how we're making investments, with the goal of saving more lives. Experience in Cameroon and elsewhere has taught us how to use every CFA invested in battling HIV/AIDS more effectively and efficiently. This means every CFA is going a little further, allowing us to do more to combat HIV/AIDS, and address issues across the global health spectrum. It also means that we can now measure our success not just in CFA invested, but in the ultimate measure of success - lives improved and saved.

On this World AIDS Day, we honor the lives lost and celebrate the lives saved, but we cannot rest. Working together, we must remain dedicated to building on success by making smart investments to save even more lives.

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