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Donors from around the world say that an AIDS-free generation may be within sight

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 6th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Governments across the world, along with private organizations have come together to pledge funds to fight the health scourges of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. United States Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking at a symposium of Global Fund partners, stressed the importance of continued financial support. Kerry said that thanks to the support of the Fund, an AIDS-free generation may be within sight.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It's really a stunning story," Kerry said, "that speaks to the extraordinary progress that we've been able to make together in our global health efforts. It's also a story about how the world came together to support a 40-fold increase in people receiving lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment [for HIV/AIDS] during the past decade alone.

"It's a story about how the global target of a 50 percent reduction in TB-related deaths by 2015 is now actually within reach. It's a story about cutting malaria so dramatically in some regions that infant mortality has dropped by a third."

To this end, the U.S. has pledged up to five billion dollars to the program. President Barack Obama also said the U.S. will add $1 for every $2 pledged by donors.

Europe, Asia and Canada has also pledged their support. France has reaffirmed its commitment of $1.4 billion to the Global Fund for the next three-year period. Japan has pledged $800 million, the United Kingdom $1.6 billion, and Canada $612 million.

the Global Fund's Fourth Replenishment Conference in Washington highlighted the progress made in fighting these diseases. Fund officials aim to raise up to $15 billion for the next three-year funding cycle, 2014-2016. That would represent a $4.6 billion increase over the previous funding period.

Entrepreneur Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged up to $500 million for the new funding cycle. 
 
Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said worldwide, projects supported by the Global Fund have helped save nine million lives from the three diseases.
 
"On the continent," Okonjo-Iweala said, "we've seen new HIV infections have fallen quite dramatically, nearly 40 percent. One million fewer people acquired HIV in 2012, and we had 22 percent fewer AIDS-related deaths between 2001 and 2012."
 
Over a million people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment in Nigeria for the disease, an increase of about seven percent over last year. Nearly 700,000 pregnant women have received counseling on how to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

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