print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
 Home > News & Policies > Policies in Focus


President Bush's Global Health Initiatives Are Saving Lives Around The World
President Bush Helped Save Millions Of Lives Through The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief And The President's Malaria Initiative

America Has Led An Unprecedented Effort To Combat HIV/AIDS Around The World

President Bush has made a historic commitment to the fight against global HIV/AIDS. In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat global HIV/AIDS. Later that year, President Bush signed the initial 5-year, $15 billion authorizing legislation that had been approved with strong bipartisan support. This President views this commitment as a central part of our foreign policy to help alleviate the despair that allows extremism to take hold.

PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative in history to fight a single disease. This effort has helped bring life-saving treatment to more than 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people – including more than four million orphans and vulnerable children – around the world. PEPFAR's success is rooted in U.S. support for local programs that use the power of partnerships among governments, foundations, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, and the private sector.

  • As of September 30, 2008, PEPFAR was supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for more than two million people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.When the President announced PEPFAR in 2003, only 50,000 people in all of Sub-Saharan Africa were receiving antiretroviral treatment.

  • Through Fiscal Year 2008, PEPFAR has also:
    • Supported prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission for women during more than 16 million pregnancies.
    • Supported prevention of nearly 240,000 infant infections.
    • Supported more than 57 million counseling and testing sessions for men, women, and children.

  • PEPFAR draws upon the capabilities of faith- and community-based organizations to create an effective, multi-sectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These organizations are uniquely positioned to promote HIV/AIDS stigma reduction and prevention messages and provide counseling and testing, home care, clinical services, and antiretroviral treatment with particular success in the hardest-to-reach communities. Last year, 87 percent of PEPFAR partners were indigenous organizations, and nearly a quarter were faith-based.

  • PEPFAR supports a comprehensive prevention portfolio. In addition to the balanced, evidenced-based ABC (Abstain, Be faithful, and correct and consistent use of Condoms) approach, the United States also supports programs that address mother-to-child transmission, blood safety and safe medical injections, male circumcision, injecting drug users, HIV-discordant couples, alcohol abuse, and other key issues.

On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR, authorizing an additional $48 billion over the next five years to combat global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Under this legislation, the next phase of the American people's generous commitment to those suffering from HIV/AIDS will support:

  • Treatment for at least three million people;
  • Prevention of 12 million new infections; and
  • Care for 12 million people, including five million orphans and vulnerable children.

As a result of the President's leadership, in 2007, G-8 leaders made a commitment to complement U.S. efforts so that together G-8 nations will support treatment for five million HIV/AIDS-infected individuals, prevent 24 million new infections, and care for 24 million people, including 10 million orphans and vulnerable children

The United States is also working through multilateral organizations in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The United States is the largest contributor to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, pledging $4 billion and providing more than $3.3 billion since 2001.

The Administration And Its Partners Have Worked Together To Save Lives Through The President's Malaria Initiative

In 2005, President Bush launched the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), committing $1.2 billion over five years to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 targeted African countries. The President has also challenged the private sector to join the fight against malaria. It is estimated that the PMI has already reached 25 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2007, more than six million long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed through public-private partnerships to which PMI contributed.

The United States is leading the way in the efforts against malaria and has urged other nations to join. In 2007, G-8 nations matched the United States' commitment so that together, G-8 nations will work to cut malaria deaths in 30 countries by half. As part of fulfilling these and other commitments on malaria, in 2008, G-8 nations agreed to provide 100 million bed nets by the end of 2010 in partnership with other stakeholders. G-8 nations should continue to take action on these promises.

In 2006, President and Mrs. Bush hosted a White House Summit on Malaria to discuss and highlight measures for combating this preventable disease. This summit brought together international experts, multilateral institutions, corporations and foundations, African civic leaders, NGOs, and faith-based and service organizations to discuss and highlight measures for controlling malaria.

President Bush's Initiatives Are Providing More Effective Resources For Health Around The World

In 2008, President Bush announced a new initiative to combat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) around the world. This Initiative committed $350 million available over five years to provide integrated treatment for more than 300 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, targeting seven major NTDs: lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis); schistosomiasis (snail fever); trachoma (eye infection); onchocerciasis (river blindness); and three soil-transmitted helminthes (STHs – hookworm, roundworm, whipworm).

President Bush successfully challenged other nations to join the NTD effort. At their summit on June 10, 2008, the United States and the European Union announced that they would join together to combat NTDs. In July 2008, G-8 leaders committed to join the United States in fighting NTDs by working to support the control or elimination of NTDs in order to reach at least 75 percent of people affected with certain major NTDs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In September 2008, the United Kingdom announced a £50 million commitment to NTDs, citing the contribution built upon President Bush's $350 million announcement and his call to the G-8.

In 2008, President Bush and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a commitment to work together alongside other partners to fight diseases and support stronger health systems, public and private sector health institutions, and health workers. The United States and European Union announced on June 10 that they would work together to support partner countries to strengthen health systems and improve availability of appropriately trained health workers.

President Bush worked with international partners such as Australia, Canada, the European Union, and Japan to ensure a coordinated response to a potential outbreak of avian or pandemic flu.

As part of his "Advancing the Cause of Social Justice in the Western Hemisphere," President Bush launched new healthcare initiatives for Latin America, including ordering the USNS Comfort to Latin America and the Caribbean on a Humanitarian Mission in 2007. Alongside the USNS Comfort medical crew were staff from the Department of Health and Human Services and volunteers from U.S. non-governmental organizations such as Project Hope and Operation Smile to provide free health care services to communities in need over a four-month deployment to the region. More than 98,000 people received care during this deployment. In 2007, the United States also opened the first regional healthcare training center in Panama. This innovative U.S. health diplomacy program trains nurses, technicians, and community health workers from six Central American countries.

# # #