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Clinton Expresses U.S. Commitment To Creating ‘AIDS-Free Generation,’ Calls On World To Help

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the NIH on Tuesday, “called on the world to create the first ‘AIDS-free generation’ by using antiviral drugs, condoms, circumcision and other approaches to stem the spread of HIV,” the Washington Post reports. “Taken together, mathematical models show that these strategies could significantly reduce the spread of the virus by another 40 percent to 60 percent, she said,” the newspaper writes (Stein, 11/8).

“An AIDS-free generation is one in which ‘virtually no children are born with the virus,’ that as they become teens and then adults they are at ‘far lower risk’ of infection than today, and that those who do become infected have access to life-saving AIDS drugs that also prevent them from spreading the virus to others, [Clinton] said,” the Wall Street Journal notes (McKay, 11/8). “Clinton gave only one date, 2015, by which she hoped a goal would be reached: that no more mothers will infect their babies at birth or through breastfeeding,” which “is the source of about one-seventh of all new infections,” according to the New York Times (McNeil, 11/8).

Clinton “said ‘no institution in the world has done more than the United States government’ in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and she positioned the Obama Administration as taking the lead in the push to change the trajectory of the epidemic,” ScienceInsider reports. Clinton “pointedly called on other countries to do more” and “chided some donors who were considering reducing contributions, and well-off countries that currently give nothing. She also called on countries that receive help to do more, both in funding and leadership, to address their epidemics,” the news service writes (Cohen, 11/8). “Clinton said the United States, which already has donated $50 million to fund academic studies on how best to ramp up the new model, would spend another $60 million to expand combination-prevention in four sub-Saharan African countries to provide more data on the efficacy of the approach,” Reuters reports (Quinn, 11/8).

“Clinton also courted popular opinion by announcing a new special envoy to raise global awareness of the disease — the actress, comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres,” the Guardian notes (Boseley, 11/8). “Eric Goosby, the administration’s global AIDS coordinator, said this was only the first of several speeches that administration officials planned to make on AIDS in the next few months,” the New York Times writes (11/8). The Department of State provides a factsheet on its website about preventive strategies in relation to Clinton’s speech (11/8). For additional information on Clinton’s speech and other AIDS policy issues, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker, which provides the latest information on Congressional and Administrative action on global health (11/9).