For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 16, 2008
President Bush Thanks Congress for Reauthorizing PEPFAR
I thank the Senate for the strong, bipartisan vote today to pass important, life-saving legislation reauthorizing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). I appreciate the efforts of Majority Leader Reid, Senators Biden and Lugar, and all other Senators from both sides of the aisle who came together today to ensure that America's generosity in battling HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases around the globe will continue in a manner consistent with the program's successful founding principles.
When we launched this program in 2003, about 50,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa were receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. Today, PEPFAR supports life-saving anti-retroviral treatment for more than 1.7 million people around the world. PEPFAR has also supported treatment and prevention programs that have helped HIV-positive women give birth to nearly 200,000 infants who are HIV-free. PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative in history to fight a single disease.
Traveling in Africa earlier this year, Laura and I had our most recent opportunity to witness the effectiveness of this program. We were honored to see the doctors, nurses and caregivers of all faiths working to save the lives of their fellow citizens. And we met the patients, including many children, who understand and appreciate America's generosity.
With passage of today's bill we are one step closer to ensuring that this excellent program continues to help those in need. I encourage the full Congress to move quickly to send me final legislation that I can sign.
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