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December 13, 2013

Bloomberg Faculty Participate in White House World AIDS Event

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President Barack Obama announced that he would direct the National Institutes of Health to commit $100 million to a new research initiative to find a cure for HIV. Additionally, President Obama pledged that the United States would contribute up to $5 billion to The Global Fund, which is used to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria – three leading causes of death in low-income countries. The announcement came on Monday, December 2nd, at a White House event marking the observation of World AIDS Day, which took place that prior Sunday.

President Obama’s remarks were followed by a panel discussion featuring health leaders and philanthropists including Bill Gates, Mark Dybul, Francis Collins, and Chris Beyrer, the director of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Kali Lindsey of the National Minority AIDS Council and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Finance Minister of Nigeria, were also part of the discussion.

“Having the President, and both Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Health Sebelius speak at the Observance for World AIDS Day demonstrated the continued U.S. commitment to leadership in the fight against the epidemic. I was deeply honored to have been a part of the day.”

David Holtgrave, chair of the Bloomberg School's Department and Health Behavior and Society and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, also attended the event.

United States contributions to The Global Fund are based on a 1-to-2 funding ration set by Congress, meaning that other countries must contribute $10 billion in order for the United States to contribute its pledged amount of $5 billion.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health media contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.