Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of an AIDS-Free Generation

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson

Fourth of July is a time for celebration in America. While the burgers are grilling and the patriotic playlists are blasting, there’s a lot the U.S. should be proud of: including the country’s role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The end of HIV/AIDS is closer than ever. As an American you’ve had a role in the progress against AIDS. Here are two American initiatives that should make you extra proud to celebrate this Fourth of July:

PEPFAR

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The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the single, largest global initiative by any country to combat a single disease. PEPFAR is funded by the American taxpayer and has helped the world achieve incredible results in the fight against AIDS.  For instance, since its inception in 2003, PEPFAR has supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for 9.5 million people and training for more than 190,000 new health care workers.  And last year alone, 267,000 babies that would otherwise have been infected were born HIV-free thanks to PEPFAR support.

Global Fund

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The Global Fund – a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector, and people affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria – invests in locally-run programs in the hardest hit countries. U.S. contributions make up 1/3 of the Global Fund, making the United States the largest donor in the fight against AIDS.  Thanks in large part to these investments, the Global Fund has achieved some amazing results since it was created in 2002.  For example, the number of people dying from HIV, TB, and malaria has declined by one-third since 2002 in countries where the Global Fund invests and 17 million lives have been saved. 

These two initiatives have made a tremendous impact in treating and preventing HIV and AIDS, but governments can’t do it alone. Organizations like (RED), ONE’s sister organization is American-born, but in the last 10 years has achieved global recognition and participation.

Supporters of people living with HIV and AIDS light candles to form a ribbon, to mark World Aids Day at Heroes Shrine in Quezon City, Metro Manila December 1, 2012. Around 100 Filipinos joined a rally on Saturday to mark World Aids Day and express their solidarity with HIV/AIDS survivors. The Philippines is one of nine countries where the number of HIV infections were increasing by more than 25 percent, the United Nations said, and it is at risk of missing one of its millennium development goals, which is stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH ANNIVERSARY) - RTR3B32L

Philanthropists and non-profits have made huge strides towards an AIDS-free generation. Conscious consumer organizations like (RED) make it easy for people and businesses to join the fight. (RED) has not only majorly increased the average American’s awareness of AIDS and HIV issues but has also become a global brand that contributes to the Global Fund to fight the deadly virus.

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In one shape or form, we’ve all had a hand in the progress against HIV/AIDS whether through advocacy, fundraising, or simply being a U.S. taxpayer- and that’s truly something to celebrate. While much progress has been made, there is still work to be done in order to finish the job for good.

This blog is owned by the ONE Campaign and was originally published on the ONE Campus website. No worries, it is still written by yours truly. 

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