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Rice pledges more support for HIV/AIDS fight

Dec. 3, 2013 at 3:12 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Tuesday the country has renewed and expanded its pledge to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS around the world.

Rice, speaking to a gathering of the World Fund in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit group that's made fighting the disease its main goal, said the United States stands ready to increase its financial contributions by up to $1 billion over the next three years.

President Barack Obama has said the United States will match every $2 donation made to the World Fund with a $1 donation, a deal meant to leverage more private sector support for the NGO.

"Globally, 35 million people are living with HIV/AIDS," Rice said. "More than 1 million are here in the United States. Around the world, 700 children are infected with HIV every single day. So, our mission is clear. We cannot stop until we have seen the last AIDS-related death, and no child is again born infected with HIV."

Rice noted progress in the fight against the disease. Where once HIV was a death sentence, now progress is being made in fighting it and offering hope to those affected.

"I remember how different it was just 20 years ago," Rice said. "Back in the 1990s, I visited more than my share of health clinics in Africa and saw how often AIDS ravaged people had no hope of receiving treatment. ... In the past 25 years, the story of people living with the HIV/AIDS has been transformed from one of tragedy into one of hope."

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