Vowing to continue the global fight against HIV and AIDS, President Obama on Monday pledged $100 million in funding for a new round of federal research into treatments and, eventually, a cure.
The president made the announcement one day after World AIDS Day, held each Dec. 1 and meant to raise awareness of the millions across the globe living with AIDS or HIV. Mr. Obama and other administration officials marked the occasion at the White House on Monday afternoon.
“The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put HIV into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies. Or, better yet, eliminate it,” Mr. Obama said just after announcing the new research initiative, which will be carried out at the National Institutes of Health.
The president also touted the progress made in the U.S. and around the world in the fight against the virus.
From 2001 to 2012, for example, the number of new infections dropped by 33 percent, falling from 3.4 million in 2001 to 2.3 million last year, according to the United Nations.
About 1.6 million people died from AIDS last year, compared to 2.3 million in 2006, the U.N. said in an annual report on HIV and AIDS infection rates.
“Awareness has soared. Research has surged. Prevention, treatment and care are now saving millions of lives not only in the world’s richest countries but in some of the world’s poorest countries as well,” Mr. Obama said. “The disease that was once a death sentence now comes with a good chance of a healthy and productive life.”