President Biden Renews Commitment to End HIV/AIDS Epidemic on World AIDS Day

Staff report

Washington – November 30, 2023

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to eradicating the HIV/AIDS epidemic as the world commemorates the 35th World AIDS Day on December 1, 2023.

In a proclamation released on the eve of the annual observance, President Biden emphasized the progress made in combating the disease while acknowledging the ongoing challenges. With approximately 39 million individuals globally living with HIV, including over one million within the United States, the President stressed the need for continued efforts to eliminate discrimination preventing access to vital care and treatments.

“In our journey since the inception of the first World AIDS Day 35 years ago, significant strides have been made in preventing, detecting, and treating HIV,” President Biden stated in his proclamation. “However, there remains work to be done. Too many people still face discrimination hindering their access to essential care.”

Highlighting his administration’s initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS domestically, President Biden outlined key measures, including the establishment of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and the launch of a new National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Moreover, significant funding requests, such as the $850 million proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative, were highlighted to aggressively reduce new HIV cases and fight the associated stigma.

The President also underscored the nation’s commitment to address HIV/AIDS on a global scale through the bipartisan President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This program, operating in over 50 partner countries, has saved more than 25 million lives and aims to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.

“We are within striking distance of eliminating HIV-transmission,” President Biden emphasized. “We possess the scientific knowledge, the treatments, and, most importantly, a united front. Let us honor those impacted by this disease and recommit ourselves to finishing this fight – together.”

As part of the proclamation, President Biden urged governors, officials at all levels of government, and the American populace to join the HIV community in commemorating World AIDS Day. The call to action included participation in activities to honor those lost to AIDS and to extend support, dignity, and compassion to individuals living with HIV.

President Biden officially designated December 1, 2023, as World AIDS Day in the United States and urged nationwide participation in remembrance and support activities.

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