For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 1, 2006
Fact Sheet: Continuing the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in America
In his State of the Union Address, President Bush Highlighted The Administration's Ongoing Commitment To Preventing, Treating, And Defeating HIV/AIDS In The United States. More than one million Americans live with HIV, and half of all AIDS cases occur among African Americans. The President has made fighting the domestic spread of HIV/AIDS a top priority, and he will continue to work with Congress to support effective prevention and compassionate care and treatment.
- Congress Must Reform And Reauthorize The Ryan White CARE Act. In his State of the Union Address, the President again called on Congress to reform and reauthorize this important legislation. The Ryan White CARE Act is a comprehensive approach to providing medical care, antiretroviral treatments, and counseling and testing for those in greatest need of HIV/AIDS assistance.
- Congress Must Help States Address Existing Gaps. The President also called on Congress to provide new funding to help states end the waiting lists for AIDS medicines in America.
- Americans Must Work Together To Increase Prevention Efforts, Improve The Lives Of Those Living With HIV/AIDS, And Stop The Spread Of The Disease. The President called for a nationwide effort, working closely with African-American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America.
Taking Action Against HIV/AIDS At Home
Today, More Than One Million Americans Are Living With HIV/AIDS. An estimated 250,000 people do not realize that they carry the virus. Roughly 40,000 new transmissions occur every year in the United States, about half of them resulting from individuals unaware they are infecting others. The number of AIDS cases is especially high in African-American, Hispanic, and gay communities, as well as among intravenous drug users and prisoners.
The Administration Is Taking Action To Turn The Tide Against HIV/AIDS In The United States And Provide More Help To People Who Need It Most. President Bush is committed to combating HIV/AIDS and his Administration has taken major strides to address the needs of patients and prevent the spread of this terrible disease.
- Providing Care And Treatment To Americans In Need. To improve and extend the lives of Americans living with HIV/AIDS, the Administration has devoted more than $74 billion to treatment and care since 2001, increasing annual treatment funding by 45 percent.
- Supporting Research. To develop new methods of treatment and prevention, and to work toward a cure, the Administration has devoted more than $15 billion to HIV/AIDS research since 2001, increasing annual research funding by 20 percent.
- Reducing Mother-to-Child Transmission. Thanks to a concerted public health effort, mother-to-child transmissions of HIV has been nearly wiped out in America.
With The Help Of Medicine, And Their Own Courage, More Americans Are Managing With HIV/AIDS - A Condition That Was Once Uniformly Fatal. The realities of living with HIV/AIDS have changed for the better over the years, from a time when an HIV diagnosis was perceived as a death sentence, to the present day when HIV-positive Americans can live for many years with the help of medications and proper care.
A Plan To Meet Key Domestic HIV/AIDS Challenges
The President Outlined His Plan To Overcome Domestic HIV/AIDS Challenges Through Compassion, Commitment, And Decisive Action. We now confront three key domestic HIV/AIDS challenges: getting prescription drugs to those who need them, testing those who do not yet know their status, and raising the awareness of those who do not know they should be tested. President Bush has proposed a new domestic HIV/AIDS initiative to address these remaining difficulties head-on and to bring closer the day when there are no new infections in America.
- Getting Prescription Drugs To Those Who Need Them Through The Ryan White CARE Act. The President has called on Congress to reauthorize the Act in accordance with three key principles that would strengthen the program and better enable it to serve those in need: focus Federal resources on life-extending care; provide greater flexibility to better target resources to address the greatest needs; and encourage the participation of all providers, including faith-based and community organizations, that can show results.
- Fund For Emergent HIV Treatment Needs. The President has proposed to make $70 million available to states in need to bridge the existing gaps in coverage for Americans waiting for life-saving medications. These funds would help the states end current waiting lists and help support care for additional patients.
- Testing Those Who Do Not Know Their Status. The President has proposed to direct a total of more than $90 million to the purchase and distribution of rapid HIV test kits, facilitating the testing of more than 3 million additional Americans. Test kits would be distributed in areas of the country with the highest rates of newly discovered HIV cases and the highest suspected rates of undetected cases.
- Testing Of Prisoners. Rates of new HIV cases are especially high in the nation's prisons and jails. The President proposes to direct approximately $20 million to directly facilitate the testing of more than 600,000 prisoners, and to offer assistance to states and localities in developing standards for routine testing of many more.
- Testing Of Intravenous Drug Users. Estimated undiscovered cases are particularly high among intravenous drug users. The President proposes to direct approximately $20 million to distribute rapid test kits to drug treatment and healthcare professionals who most often come into contact with intravenous drug users. This will directly facilitate the testing of more than 500,000 drug users and help increase awareness to bring about the testing of many more.
- Utilizing Faith-Based Groups In High-Risk Communities. The President proposes to direct $25 million in grants to significantly strengthen outreach by local community and faith-based organizations in hardest hit areas. These grants would help raise awareness, increase early detection, combat stigma, and facilitate access to treatment, especially for African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and other minority community groups whose need is often greatest.
Taking Action Against HIV/AIDS Abroad
The United States Is Committed To Supporting Our Global Partners And To The Historic Challenge Of Turning The Tide Against A Pandemic. Efforts to defeat HIV/AIDS at home complement the President's ambitious commitment to combat the disease in some of the world's most afflicted nations. Nations around the world are fighting for the lives of their citizens - and America is now their strongest partner in that fight.
- The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Launched in 2003, PEPFAR is the largest international health initiative dedicated to a single disease in history. This effort is designed to support and strengthen the AIDS-fighting strategies of many nations, including 15 heavily afflicted countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. The President has committed $15 billion over five years to support treatment for 2 million people, prevention for 7 million, and care for 10 million. After two years, more than 400,000 sub-Saharan Africans are already receiving the treatment they need.
- The New Partners Initiative. Launched by the President on World AIDS Day in 2005, the New Partners Initiative will establish a competitive grants process for new partners, including faith-based and community organizations, with the desire and ability to help implement PEPFAR, but who have little or no experience in working with the United States government. By identifying and supporting the organizations that provide much of the health care in the developing world, the new Partners Initiative will help ensure that PEPFAR resources reach more people more effectively.
# # #