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Background on Today's Presidential Action

Worldwide, over 2 million women with HIV give birth each year, resulting in 720,000 babies who are infected with HIV during the mother's pregnancy, during birth or through breastfeeding. Particularly hard-hit are the countries of Africa and the Caribbean, where rates of infection are rising. With the provision of simple low-cost drug interventions like nevirapine, transmission rates can be reduced by up to 40 percent in targeted countries, saving tens of thousands of newborns from HIV infection.

President Bush's Commitment to Halting the Spread of HIV/AIDS

In FY 2002, the United States is providing $988 million for global HIV/AIDS assistance -- a 36% increase over FY 2001. In his FY 2003 Budget, President Bush proposed $1.1 billion in global HIV/AIDS assistance, including $640 million for USAID and $477 for HHS -- a 13 percent increase. The Bush Administration has dedicated $500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, making the United States by far the leading contributor to the Fund.

With this initiative, the United States is raising by $500 million its commitment to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, which was funded at less than $20 million in FY '01. This new International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative reflects an additional commitment beyond the existing U.S. commitment to the Global Fund.

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