AmbassadorMark Dybul serves as PEPFAR Coordinator, leading the implementation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Emergency Plan/PEPFAR). For more information about PEPFAR and World AIDS Day, please visit the PEPFAR website.
World AIDS Day, observed on December 1 each year, is an opportunity to remember the more than 20 million people who have died from AIDS and support the approximately 33 million people who are currently living with HIV. It is also a time, as President Bush put it, to "rededicate ourselves to a great purpose: We will turn the tide against HIV/AIDS -- once and for all." The U.S. Government theme for World AIDS Day this year is "The Power of Partnerships" to highlight the successes and future promise of partnerships in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Working together, the American people and the people of the world will achieve much more in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The international theme for World AIDS Day this year is "Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise," and the United States is doing just that.
On Friday, November 30, I joined President Bush and Mrs. Bush at a small church in Mount Airy, Maryland, where we met with representatives of faith-based groups that are working to care for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and prevent others from getting the virus. To commemorate World AIDS Day, President Bush announced the latest results achieved by his Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. Around the world, PEPFAR has supported antiretroviral treatment for approximately 1.45 million people. We've also made exciting progress in the areas of prevention and care, demonstrating the power of partnerships with the people of the world – including governments, non-governmental organizations including faith- and community-based organizations, and the private sector. These partnerships are building capacity that will allow communities to sustain their efforts long after the Emergency Plan.
The American people can be proud of their leadership in the fight against this disease.