U.S. says to spend $300M to fight H.I.V. in Africa

Sep 27, 2015, 6:11 PM EDT
HIV testing by using test cassette, the result showed positive (double red line) and negative (single red line).
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The Obama administration said it was allotting an additional $300 million to the effort to reduce H.I.V. infection among girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries, writes Reuters.

The sum would help the main U.S. program for fighting AIDS in Africa to meet goals including providing antiretroviral treatment to 12.9 million people by the end of 2017, said Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's national security adviser.

"No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat H.I.V./AIDS. Every year, 380,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with H.I.V.," she said in a statement.

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, working with partner countries, now provides antiretroviral treatment for 7.7 million people worldwide, Rice said.

The program, known as PEPFAR, was launched in 2003 by former President George W. Bush and has provided billions of dollars for antiretroviral drugs and treatment in Africa.

By 2017, Rice said, PEPFAR also aims to "provide 13 million male circumcisions for HIV prevention, and reduce H.I.V. incidence by 40 percent among adolescent girls and young women within the highest burdened areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries."

The countries at the focus of the program are: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.