Remarks as Prepared by Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State, at the White House World AIDS Day Event, "HIV/AIDS: What Have We Learned, Where Are We Going?"

December 1, 2010

The White House
Washington, D.C.

It's a pleasure to be with you today. So many of you have been fellow laborers in this fight, now going back almost three decades. You have made such great contributions here at home and abroad. Even though the challenges change from year to year - and in fact are so different today from even a few years ago - you're still in the fight. And I thank you for that.

The Obama Administration's commitment to investing in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care is unwavering. The President has launched the Global Health Initiative, which I am convinced will make PEPFAR even more effective. As this group knows so well, no one is defined by a single health condition, even one as serious as HIV. One of the major goals of GHI is to better enable us to address the whole range of health needs of the people we serve, and that is an exciting opportunity.

For PEPFAR on this World AIDS Day, our theme is "Smart Investments, Building on Success." It describes what we are doing every day at PEPFAR. The smarter we are about the prevention, treatment and care we provide, the greater the number of lives we will save.

That is our bottom line, because our yardstick for measuring success is not dollars invested, but lives saved. I am pleased to share with you today the brand new, very encouraging results achieved by our efforts.

The U.S. is directly supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for over 3.2 million men, women and children worldwide - an increase from less than 2.5 million one year ago. In the coming years, the U.S. has committed to directly support more than four million people on treatment, more than doubling the number supported during the first five years of PEPFAR.

Support for prevention of new HIV infections, and for care and support for those affected by HIV, are other areas of encouraging progress. To date, PEPFAR-supported programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission have allowed 600,000 babies of HIV-positive mothers to be born HIV-free, including 114,000 infants in fiscal year 2010. And through its partnerships with more than 30 countries, PEPFAR directly supported 11 million people with care and support, including 3.8 million orphans and vulnerable children, in fiscal year 2010 alone.

In addition to PEPFAR's impact, many also benefit from programs supported by the U.S. and other donors through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The U.S. is the first and largest donor to the Global Fund, providing more than $5.1 billion to date, and the Administration recently announced an unprecedented multiyear pledge of $4 billion to the Fund, representing a 38 percent increase in U.S. support.

As we build on this success, what is the way forward for PEPFAR? Years of experience in the field have taught us how to better use every dollar invested in battling AIDS.

It means investing more in evidence-based prevention, in supporting more effective and cost-effective treatment regimens, and leveraging our investments through effective collaborations with partners.

It means strengthening the interagency model that has been so integral to our success. In our model, each of our implementing agencies - CDC, DoD, USAID, and Peace Corps - contributes unique core competencies to our work. The Global Health Initiative, with its own interagency structure, builds on this success.

And finally, building on success means continuing to work with you, to listen to your insights as we pursue our shared mission. Thank you for your partnership with PEPFAR as we pursue a future free of HIV/AIDS.

I'd now like to introduce the panelists for our time of discussion.

Dr. Adaora Adimora is a physician-epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She published the first national data on concurrent partnerships in U.S. women in the and a conceptual analysis of contextual factors that promote concurrent sexual partnerships among African-Americans.

Jennifer Kates is a Vice President and the Director of HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit, private operating foundation. She oversees all of the Foundation's HIV/AIDS policy efforts, directing and conducting policy research and analysis focused on both the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and the epidemic within the United States.

Chris Collins is vice president and director of public policy for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. He co-founded the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, and as chief adviser to Representative Nancy Pelosi on HIV/AIDS and health policy, he developed the first legislation designed to provide incentives for the development and delivery of vaccines against AIDS, malaria, and TB.

Dr. Moupali Das is a physician researcher at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Das's research interests include HIV health and treatment outcomes in the homeless and marginally housed urban poor.

Finally, let me introduce Dr. Tony Fauci. Under his leadership since 1984, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has been the global leader in building our understanding of this virus, and in developing potential approaches to reversing its spread. NIH is a critical partner in the PEPFAR effort, and we rely heavily on the research that NIH supports. After his presentation, we'll be joined by our other panelists for a time of discussion.

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