Statement from USAID Administrator Gayle Smith on World AIDS Day

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 1, 2016
USAID Press Office
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: | Twitter: @USAID

Every year on December 1st, we celebrate the tremendous progress the world has made in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, and honor those affected by this disease with a renewed commitment to achieve an AIDS-free generation. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States is leading the response to the global AIDS pandemic - in partnership with countries, communities, and a diverse coalition of leaders, advocates, NGOs, scientists, and businesses.

Driven by cutting-edge research and data, our collective efforts have saved millions of lives and are beginning to turn the tide against HIV/AIDS. Building on the leadership of President George W. Bush and bipartisan champions in Congress, President Barack  Obama has expanded antiretroviral therapy treatment more than five-fold over the last eight years. Today, PEPFAR is supporting 11.5 million people around the world with life-saving treatment, exceeding its 2016 target. Our efforts have reduced new pediatric infections globally by nearly 70 percent since 2000, and we are making significant strides toward controlling the epidemic in key countries, particularly in older adults and babies in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

While few of us could have imagined this kind of progress back when USAID first invested in HIV/AIDS 30 years ago, our work is far from finished. Only 18 million out of the 37 million people living with HIV worldwide are currently on treatment, and thousands of people cannot access proper care because they suffer the indignity of stigmatization and isolation. That's why USAID is committed to working with our colleagues at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to continue this fight.

Together with our partners, we can sustain a powerful and lasting legacy of American leadership, compassion, ingenuity, and determination. And together, we can end AIDS worldwide by 2030.