ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
DECEMBER 1, 2023
On the 35th commemoration of World AIDS Day, I join President Biden and Vice President Harris in calling for all of us to “Remember and Commit.” As we remember the more than 40 million lives that have been cut short by HIV/AIDS, we must redouble our efforts and commit to achieving the goal of ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 worldwide. This year, we marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – which has saved more than 25 million lives and enabled more than 5.5 million babies to be born HIV-free.
While we celebrate these outcomes, we must not lose sight of the fragility of our collective efforts to end this pandemic. PEPFAR’s successes to-date cannot be taken for granted. Losing momentum on the gains we have made would have devastating consequences around the world, jeopardizing access to essential HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services for millions of children and adults and compromising our efforts to end the pandemic. That is why we are working with Congress to pass a five-year, clean reauthorization bill as Congress has done three times before.
PEPFAR is critical not only in our fight against HIV/AIDS, but also to help prepare the world for the future pandemics we will inevitably face. As part of the State Department’s Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, PEPFAR is investing in strong health systems, supporting hundreds of thousands of health workers to respond to HIV/AIDS, and enhancing our partners’ capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to other health threats, including COVID-19, Ebola, cholera, H1N1 influenza, mpox, and tuberculosis.