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Keeping the Promise on World AIDS Day

Randall L. Tobias, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance & USAID Administrator
Washington, DC
December 1, 2006

Partnerships - large and small, public and private, local and global - are a key ingredient in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. For the past 20 years, the U.S. Government has provided assistance to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in the developing world, where nearly 40 million people are living with the disease. Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to continue its contributions to the battle against the pandemic as a key partner in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, supporting the most complex HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment strategies in the world. The international theme for World AIDS Day this year is Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise, and the United States is doing just that. The Emergency Plan has already achieved enormous success in rapidly increasing access to antiretroviral drugs to combat AIDS, an approach that was successful because of its focus on partnership. Indeed, the promise of these partnerships is to support nations in developing the capacity that will allow communities to sustain their efforts for generations to come. Through the Emergency Plan, USAID partnerships are supporting key activities such as:

  • In South Africa, where the Men as Partners program deals with HIV/AIDS prevention issues that include masculinity, stigma, and domestic violence. Men are encouraged to assume a larger share of responsibilities for family and community care by spending more time with their children, mentoring young boys in the community, and visiting terminally ill AIDS patients.
  • In Haiti, where USAID partners with the Haitian artists organization, Promoteurs Objectif Zero SIDA, to produce a series of collages depicting the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. During stigma and discrimination workshops, participants create inspiring works of art describing their experiences with HIV/AIDS and their hopes for the future. The collaboration fosters special friendships that promote open and honest discussion.
  • In Thailand, where the USAID-supported Positive Partnerships program matches people who have HIV with those who are not infected and provides them with vocational training, and helps them start small businesses together. The program also supports home-based care to hundreds of HIV-positive residents in Bangkok.
  • In Ukraine, where USAID is equipping medical staff with the skills that allow more people to receive voluntary counseling and testing in order to decrease mother-to-child transmission of HIV. USAID trains obstetricians and midwives and also works to strengthen community-based support for HIV-positive pregnant women and mothers.

These are just a few examples of exceptional in-country programs that are building on the success of local ownership, leadership and the commitment to invest in people. Today at USAID, we reaffirm our commitment to keep the promise - the promise of fighting HIV/AIDS, one partnership at a time.



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