Each year on the first of December, World AIDS Day, a red ribbon hangs on the North Portico of the White House to commemorate the 35 million people who have lost their lives to the disease. This year, advocates and public health experts will be hoping the country continues not just that symbolical gesture, but the U.S. commitment to investing in the continued fight against AIDS worldwide.
When world leaders came together in September, they committed the resources to put the Global Fund on track to fund its plan to help save 8 million more lives and prevent 300 million new infections by 2020. Answering the call of advocates across the country, the U.S. government made a matching pledge of up to $4.3 billion, committing to invest $1 for every $2 from other donors.
The infectious disease that claims the most lives in the world today doesn’t make headlines. It’s a stealth killer that’s been around for thousands of years but still makes nearly 10 million people sick annually. It also happens to be a major cause and consequence of global poverty.