The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 29, 2003

Fact Sheet: The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

Laura Bush turns to her guest, Dr. Peter Mugyenyi of Uganda, during President George W. Bush's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003. Serving as chairman for several efforts fighting the spread of the AIDS virus, Dr. Mugyenyi directs the Joint Clinical Research Center in Uganda. In his speech President Bush asked Congress to commit $15 billion to afflicted African nations and the Caribbean.

"[T]o meet a severe and urgent crisis abroad, tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa...I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean."
- President George W. Bush

President Bush announced in the State of the Union address the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion initiative to turn the tide in combating the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. This commitment of resources will help the most afflicted countries in Africa and the Caribbean wage and win the war against HIV/AIDS, extending and saving lives. Specifically, the initiative is intended to:

The $15 billion in funding for this initiative virtually triples the U.S. commitment to international AIDS assistance. Funding will begin with $2 billion in FY04, and ramp up thereafter. The $15 billion includes $1 billion for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, conditioned on the Fund showing results.

The Continuing Spread of the Pandemic
The HIV/AIDS pandemic has killed at least 20 million of the more than 60 million people it has infected thus far, leaving 14 million orphans worldwide. Today, on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus--including three million children under the age of 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one-third of the adult population carries the infection.

Recent developments have now made widespread therapy for HIV possible. The price of advanced antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which can effectively suppress the AIDS virus in infected people, has fallen from more than $12,000 to under $300 per year. In addition, ARV treatment regimens have been greatly simplified by decreased dosing and monitoring requirements and decreased toxicity.

Despite these therapy advances, the number of people actually receiving ARV treatment remains remarkably low. In Africa, for example, it is estimated that over 29.4 million people are infected with HIV, more than 4 million of whom have a sufficiently advanced stage of the disease to warrant ARV treatment--but only about 50,000 are receiving it.

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
The President believes the global community can--and must--do more to halt the advance of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and that the United States should lead the world by example. Thus, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief will provide $15 billion (including almost $10 billion in new funds) over five years to turn the tide in the war on HIV/AIDS. While the United States will continue to work throughout the world to combat HIV/AIDS, this initiative will focus a significant amount of these resources on the most afflicted countries in Africa and the Caribbean: Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. These 14 countries, which are also the focus of the President's previously announced Mother-and-Child HIV Prevention Initiative, have among the highest prevalences of HIV infection and account for nearly 20 million HIV-infected men, women and children--almost 70 percent of the total in all of Africa and the Caribbean.

Implementation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
Implementation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief will be based on a "network model" being employed in countries such as Uganda. This involves a layered network of central medical centers (CMCs) that support satellite centers and mobile units, with varying levels of medical expertise as treatment moves from urban to rural communities. The model will employ uniform prevention, care, and treatment protocols and prepared medication packs for ease of drug administration. It will build directly on clinics, sites, and programs established through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Health and Human Services, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, and willing host governments. The initiative will be implemented through:

Management of the Initiative
To ensure accountability for results, the President will create a new, high-level Special Coordinator for International HIV/AIDS Assistance at the Department of State. This individual, who will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, will have the rank of ambassador and will report directly to the Secretary of State. The Special Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing all U.S. international HIV/AIDS assistance and coordinating the efforts of the various agencies and departments that deliver it.

The Administration's Commitment to Fighting HIV/AIDS
President Bush has made fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic a priority of U.S. foreign policy. The United States was instrumental in launching the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in 2001. The United States was the first country to make a contribution to the Fund and leads the world in having committed $500 million to it--23 percent of total fund pledges to date. In 2002, President Bush launched the $500 million Mother-and-Child HIV Prevention Initiative designed to prevent mother-to-child transmission. The United States spends almost $15 billion annually to combat AIDS domestically, including $2.6 billion for vaccine and cure research.

The President is also committed to ensuring that African and other developing countries have greater access to emergency life-saving pharmaceuticals, including advanced antiretroviral drugs and test kits needed to treat HIV/AIDS. That is why the United States announced on December 20, 2002, that it would permit these countries to override patents on drugs produced outside their countries to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious epidemics, including those that may arise in the future. This is an immediate, practical solution that will provide life-saving drugs to those truly in need.


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