WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Thursday that his administration is committing an addition 50 million U.S. dollars in funding for domestic HIV/AIDS treatment and care.
Obama also set a new target of helping six million people in countries hardest hit by the HIV virus get access to life-saving antiretroviral drugs by the end of 2013, increasing the original U. S. goal by two million.
"We can beat this disease,"' Obama declared at a World AIDS Day event in Washington. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also participated via satellite.
Citing the success of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program in providing antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS around the world, Obama admitted that new infections are still not going down in the United States.
"The rate of new infections may be going down elsewhere, but it 's not going down here in America,'' he said. "There are communities in this country being devastated still by this disease. When new infections among young, black, gay men increase by nearly 50 percent in three years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter.''
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also told Xinhua recently that in the United States, the AIDS epidemic has plateaued, but it is still at "unacceptably high" level.
About 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV and only 28 percent of them have the infection under control, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week.
"The fight is not over," Obama declared, but "the federal government can't do this alone." He called on state governments, pharmaceutical companies, and private foundations, to do their part to help Americans get access to all the life-saving treatments.
Obama also appealed to global partners to step up their efforts to end AIDS, some 30 years after the epidemic first surfaced. "So on this World AIDS Day, here's my message to everyone out there. To the global community -- join us," he said.