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Global Fund welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for Global Fund

09 November 2011

Secretary Clinton calls for AIDS-free generation in landmark speech

GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria warmly welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for an AIDS-free generation and her resounding support for the Global Fund and its work.

“HIV may be with us well in the future. But the disease that it causes need not be,” said Secretary Clinton in a speech on Tuesday at the National Institutes of Health. “Creating an AIDS-free generation has never been a policy priority of the United States government – until today,” she said.

The United States is the largest single donor to the Global Fund which, together with PEPFAR (The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), supports programs providing treatment for more than 4.7 million living with HIV in developing countries.

With significant support from the Global Fund, nearly half of the people eligible to receive antiretroviral treatment in Malawi were receiving it last year, whereas almost nobody was on treatment in 2004, said Secretary Clinton. “This kind of progress deserves our support,” she said.

Secretary Clinton identified three interventions that could help achieve an AIDS-free generation: pursuing a global plan to eliminate new infections among children by 2015; extending male circumcision – a low-cost procedure which reduces female-to-male transmission of the virus; and scaling up antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV. Recently published research has shown that effective treatment of a person living with HIV greatly reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to a partner.

“I welcome Secretary Clinton’s wholehearted expression of U.S. commitment to fighting AIDS and to the vision of achieving an AIDS-free generation”, said Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “I also warmly welcome her strong affirmation of continued U.S. support for the Global Fund, even in these challenging economic times. All of us at the Global Fund are working hard to ensure that the Fund remains worthy of that support. As PEPFAR and the Global Fund are the main funders of the global response to AIDS, I look forward to our continued close collaboration so that together we help make the vision of an AIDS-free generation a reality.”

Secretary Clinton appealed to emerging and resource-rich countries to support the Global Fund at a time when some existing donors are thinking of cutting their contributions.
“Some emerging powers and nations that are rich in natural resources can afford to give, but choose not to. To sit on the sidelines now would be devastating,” she said.

Secretary Clinton also said she supported reforms at the Global Fund to ensure the most effective use of its resources and to catch any misuse of funds. “It is the Fund’s responsibility to root out these abuses and end them as quickly as possible. But let’s remember: uncovering problems is exactly what transparency is supposed to do. It means the process is working.”

For more information on another study also mentioned by Ms. Clinton, funded by the Global Fund, please see “Economic Returns to Investment in AIDS Treatment in Low and Middle Income Countries”.