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August 10, 09

NEWS / United States, Angola Commit to HIV/AIDS Partnership


Clinton also spotlights HIV/AIDS efforts in South Africa
By Kelly Daniel
Staff Writer

Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is using her seven-nation African tour to emphasize the United States’ commitment to combating HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, signing a new AIDS framework with the government of Angola and visiting HIV-positive patients at a U.S.-sponsored clinic in South Africa.

The new partnership between the United States and Angola, signed by Clinton and Angolan Minister of External Relations Assunção Afonso dos Anjos on August 10, represents a five-year strategic plan for cooperation between the two governments and other interested parties to help meet Angola’s 2007–2010 HIV National Strategic Plan, with U.S. support coming via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The U.S.-Angola framework seeks to sustain an effective response to HIV/AIDS through proven strategies, while expanding prevention and enhancing coverage and quality of health care. It also aims to strengthen local capacity, promote policy reforms and help the Angolan government coordinate with key groups and officials involved in HIV/AIDS.

“This framework represents a new approach to our government’s fight against HIV/AIDS,” Clinton said. “It emphasizes a bottoms-up approach tailored for and by the country we are assisting.”

The framework also puts greater emphasis on the disease’s effect on women, Clinton said, noting that women and girls account for nearly 60 percent of all HIV cases in sub-Saharan Africa.

PEPFAR was established in 2003 by former President George W. Bush and remains the largest commitment in history by any nation to combat a single disease. In 2008, Congress reauthorized PEPFAR for five years, approving $48 billion for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care and to combat tuberculosis and malaria. PEPFAR programs focus on many of the nations hardest hit by AIDS, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa but also in the Caribbean.

The U.S.-Angola partnership will focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission, improving health monitoring and evaluation, and addressing HIV and tuberculosis co-infections. It will also address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and work to include HIV-positive people at all levels of program planning and implementation. The partnership calls for exploring the role of male circumcision in Angola’s HIV/AIDS epidemic and creating and implementing appropriate policies.

While Clinton praised the Angolan government for moving quickly to implement the partnership framework, dos Anjos praised Clinton and the Obama administration for continuing to support people affected by HIV/AIDS, “by providing the means to fight against this condition, the fight to preventing more people from getting it, to relieve the suffering of those who are already touched by the disease, and to provide better living conditions for those who are living with the virus.”

“It’s moments like this that define the real dimension of human cooperation,” dos Anjos said.

Thanking Clinton for visiting Luanda, he added, “This act, the signing of this agreement, will be the real act that brings truth and it will bring solidarity for real between the Angolan people and the American people.”

PEPFAR’S IMPACT CONTINUES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Clinton also highlighted PEPFAR programs and efforts in South Africa during her visit to that nation August 6–8. On August 7, while she and the South African minister of health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, toured the Cullinan Care Clinic, a U.S.-sponsored clinic just outside Pretoria, they met HIV-positive patients who shared their experiences in living with the virus.

“I am very pleased that we have some people here who are willing to talk about their experience at the clinic,” Clinton said, “because the minister and I can talk and our distinguished guests can talk, but what’s important is what this clinic means in the lives of the people in this area and what it represents for what can be done for people across South Africa.”

“This clinic represents a partnership and collaboration between the people and government of the United States and the people and government of South Africa,” Clinton said. “We are proud to support the work that is done here through PEPFAR and USAID.”

Accompanying Clinton at the HIV/AIDS clinic were two members of Congress involved with PEPFAR funding and African issues and the new global AIDS coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby, in a visit that administration officials said demonstrated the depth of the United States’ commitment to PEPFAR.

Clinton traveled to Africa on August 4 to attend the Eighth African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. She is also traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde before returning to the United States on August 14

http://www.america.gov/st/africa-english/2009/August/20090810155037kjleinad0.8918268.html?CP.rss=true


Tags: secretary of state,
 




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