Statements and Webcast
United States of America
H.E. Ms. Susan Rice, Member of the Cabinet
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
SUSAN RICE, member of the Cabinet of the President of the United States, said ten years ago, the global HIV/AIDS situation was grave. From 1991 to 2001, more than 25 million people died from the AIDS pandemic. People in the United States were moved by that sweeping tragedy, and had then urged the international community to come together in a spirit of compassion and concern, as there was a shared responsibility to respond. She said the United States was proud to have been a leader in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, and it had played a central role in establishing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The United States made the founding pledge to the Fund, and remained by far its largest single donor. In 2003, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief was created as the largest international response to a single disease that any country had ever mounted. Among its many efforts was the 2010 program providing HIV counselling and testing to more than 8.6 million pregnant women. More than 600,000 tested positive and received antiretroviral treatments, saving the lives of more than 114,000 babies from HIV infection.
The United States also remained committed to responding to the serious epidemic faced at home. More than 1.7 million Americans had become infected by HIV, more than 600,000 had died of AIDS, and more than 50,000 became infected with HIV each year. In July 2010, the United States released the first comprehensive HIV/AIDS road map to reduce new infection, increase access to care, and reduce HIV-related health disparities. While the United States had long been a leader in restoring hope and saving lives, and would not let up that fight now, the struggle could not be met by any one country alone. A truly global response was required, and she urged fellow donors and the private sector to give and invest more. In order to sustain the fight over the long term, affected countries themselves needed to provide resources based on their capacities, to protect their citizens from HIV/AIDS. She saluted the champions of the fight in the worst affected countries, Governments rising to protect citizens, communities rallying to those in need, and civil society groups and individuals who had offered hope and comfort in hours of grief and fear. The international community needed to do more than maintain the gains made so far, and must expand those gains. Too many lives could and needed to be saved.