US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Monday that the United States will step up the fight against HIV, insisting it was working towards the goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation.
Amid worrying research showing that resistance to AIDS drugs is growing in parts of Africa, Clinton unveiled more than USD 150 million in new funding to battle the pandemic, reports AFP.
"The United States is committed and will remain committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation. We will not back off, we will not back down," Clinton told participants at the International AIDS Conference in Washington.
"We will fight for the resources necessary to achieve this historic milestone," she added, dismissing criticism that the United States was not serious in its bid to fight the 30-year pandemic.
Some 1.5 million people died from the disease last year, and some 34 million people globally are living with HIV, according to the latest UNAIDS report.
However, about one in five people are not aware of their status and are most at risk of spreading the disease.
Clinton said people and governments had to break the chain of transmission, urging men to have voluntary circumcisions and calling for HIV-positive pregnant women to get the right treatment to spare their babies from infection.
"This is a fight we can win. We have already come so far, too far to stop now," she said, drawing loud applause and cheers from the audience.
In an AIDS-free generation, almost no child would be born with HIV, adults would be at a lower risk of becoming infected, and if they get HIV they would have treatment to stop them developing AIDS and passing it on, she said.
The 19th International AIDS Conference is expected to draw 25,000 people, including politicians, scientists, activists and HIV sufferers.