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GAA Calls on President Obama to Make Good on His Nobel Peace Prize Speech

" is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine they need to survive." - President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- International Human Rights Day -- At his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway, this morning, President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of health and access to medicines for all people as a prerequisite to security. The President said:

"It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine they need to survive. It does not exist where children cannot aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within."

GAA calls on the President to fully fund PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief at the levels he promised during his campaign, to fully fund the U.S. government's fair share contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and to make the first down payment on a Global Fund for Education - as promised during his campaign for the Presidency. [See fact sheet on broken campaign promises, below.]

"In the absence of increased funding for prevention, care, and treatment now, millions of people will die needlessly in the coming decades," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance. "Scaling up prevention and treatment programs now will save lives, and assure the long-term security of dozens of those countries hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Education goes hand in hand with that, because we know that increased levels of education improve health and well-being," he said.

"There is growing discontent in the President's decision to flat line support for global AIDS programs. Just in the past few days, both conservative and progressive media have called attention to the President's moves to scale back and decentralize PEPFAR's pre-eminent role as the largest single source of funding for global AIDS," said Zeitz. "At a time when the World Health Organization is revising its AIDS treatment guidelines to extend life-saving medications to more people in order to save more lives, Mr. Obama's decision to flat line PEPFAR and the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund is both irresponsible and not aligned with scientific evidence that anti-retroviral treatment given to people earlier in the course of their disease progression is the right thing to do."

Sources for this story:

Summary of Recent Media Coverage Criticizing Obama AIDS Policies

President Obama's World AIDS Day 2009 Report Card: D+

GAA Fact Sheet on Obama's Broken Promises

SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance

SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
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