HIV/AIDS: Clinton Announces New Initiatives
At a speech today commemorating World AIDS Day, President Clinton will announce steps "aimed at curbing the spread of AIDS and slowing the growing world population of children orphaned by the disease." The Washington Post reports that the White House is expected to announce an additional $47 million for research into AIDS vaccines, bringing the National Institutes of Health budget for such research to $200 million and "respond[ing] to substantial pressure from AIDS lobbyists who regard an eventual vaccine as the most effective HIV-prevention method." Victor Zonana, vice president of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, "praised the expanded funding," but said the money should go to supplement the pharmaceutical industry's efforts rather "than augmenting already generous funding for basic research." White House Office of National AIDS Policy Director Sandra Thurman "said the new money would be used for both basic and applied research." Clinton will also announce $21 million in new funding for housing for people with AIDS (Goldstein, 12/1).
USA Today reports that the United States will also devote $164 million for research into preventing HIV/AIDS in foreign countries, a 30% increase over last year. The U.S. Agency for International Development has earmarked an additional $10 million in emergency funding "to help support AIDS orphans around the world" (Page, USA Today, 12/1). AP/MSNBC reports that in Africa, "nearly 8 million children have been orphaned by AIDS," and by 2010, some 40 million children around the world will be orphaned (12/1). "Clinton will also dispatch" Thurman "to lead a delegation to southern Africa to develop recommendations for addressing the problem of children who are orphans." AIDS Action Executive Director Daniel Zingale said, "We've made significant medical advances for people in the developed world with HIV and AIDS. But in the international fight against AIDS generally ... we've been virtually absent" (USA Today, 12/1). Thurman said, "We are beginning to put our epidemic in the country in the context of this larger global epidemic" (Washington Post, 12/1).