Press Release: Statement by Ambassador Kelly Craft

December 1, 2019

On World AIDS Day, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations joins the international community in support of those living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Today, we honor those who have lost their lives to AIDS. We celebrate the progress we have made together in countering this disease. And we reaffirm our pledge to eliminate AIDS as a public health threat.

Working alongside governments, community and faith-based organizations, and the scientific community, the United States has been a committed global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have provided over $85 billion to combat HIV/AIDS, the largest investment by any nation to combat a single disease. Today, antiretroviral drugs and therapies have markedly improved the lives of the 38 million people around the world living with this disease, and we must continue our work to eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV so that no individual is afraid to seek treatment. We must also increase HIV prevention, testing, and treatment efforts, especially in communities at higher risk of infection.

Echoing the theme for World AIDS Day 2019, “Controlling the epidemic, community by community,” the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has made remarkable progress in promoting awareness and achieving prevention in cities and towns around the globe. Through PEPFAR’s treatment tools and programs, about 15.7 million women, men, and children worldwide are receiving antiretroviral treatment, allowing them to lead fuller, more productive lives. While work remains to be done, we are heartened by the progress we have already achieved through strong partnerships, both at home and abroad.

Motivated by our commitments to human dignity and global health, we will work to end the suffering caused by HIV/AIDS—not just on World AIDS Day, but every day of the year. We believe a world is within reach in which no parent buries a child, and no child is left an orphan, due to HIV, and we will not rest until a cure is found.