Statement by Administrator Rajiv Shah on World AIDS Day

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 2, 2013
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), released the following statement on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

"On World AIDS Day, we join the global community to pay tribute to the millions of lives lost and families affected by HIV and AIDS.  We pause to recognize the brave individuals living with HIV who continue to carry the burden of the disease every day and remember that we must remain steadfast in our vision to achieve an AIDS-free generation by investing and working together to fight the disease across the globe.

Ten years ago, AIDS was considered a death sentence. What a difference a decade makes.  This year, as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) marks its 10-year anniversary and the world looks back over 30 years since the epidemic was first identified, the United States, as well as partner governments, civil society, local communities and many others dedicated to reaching an AIDS-free generation, have a lot to celebrate.

Landmark scientific advances coupled with success in implementing effective programs are putting us even closer to reaching an AIDS-free generation.  But our work is not over.  As Secretary Kerry said during a speech earlier this year, “As progress continues, we will gradually evolve as the disease evolves, and that is going to happen both by necessity and by design.  Achieving an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility, and it is going to be a shared accomplishment.”

As we recognize World AIDS Day, USAID has a tremendous responsibility to build on our existing progress.  Success is possible, and as a key implementing partner of PEPFAR, we know that our prevention, treatment, care, and support programs continue to contribute significantly to one of the most successful foreign assistance programs ever created."