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Fact Sheet: President Bush's International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative

June 19, 2002

Today's Presidential Action

President Bush announced a new $500 million International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative that seeks to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to infants and to improve health care delivery in Africa and the Caribbean. Through a combination of improving care and drug treatment and building the healthcare delivery capacity, this new effort is expected to reach up to one million women annually and reduce mother to child transmission by forty percent within five years or less in twelve African countries and the Caribbean. This Initiative will complement the efforts of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and represents the next essential step in the global struggle against AIDS.

The International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative

The Initiative focuses on treatment and care for HIV infected pregnant women to reduce transmission of HIV/AIDS to infants. The Initiative is focused in two areas: (1) increasing the availability of preventive care, including drug treatments; and (2) building healthcare delivery systems to reach as many women as possible with the care they need.

Increasing Preventive Treatment and Care

  • Where adequate infrastructure exists, administering combination antiretroviral therapy to the mother beginning in the second trimester, and treating the mother and child following birth.
  • Where adequate infrastructure does not exist, administering a single dose of nevirapine to the mother at the time of delivery and at least one dose to the infant shortly after birth.
  • Where capacity allows, providing care and treatment to eligible family members.
  • As appropriate, supporting safer breastfeeding practices, replacement feeding or early weaning for infants after birth.

Building Healthcare Delivery Systems

  • Hospital/clinics twinning. Pairing U.S. hospitals and clinics with African and Caribbean counterparts, facilitating the training of personnel and implementation of prevention, care and treatment programs.
  • Volunteer medical and nursing training corps. Attracting, recruiting and helping place volunteer medical professionals in these countries to develop professional capacity at the local level. Recruiting and paying African medical and graduate students to provide testing, treatment and care.
  • Supporting NGOs and governments to help expand existing activities and create new public-private partnerships aimed at significantly reducing MTCT and helping families.

The International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative will be funded at $500 million. The Administration is working with Congress to direct $200 million in the supplemental bill to this effort, and will request an additional $300 million in the FY 2004 budget. The initial countries proposed for this Initiative are:

Africa -- Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. In FY 2004, the program expands to Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia

Caribbean -- Guyana, Haiti and regional efforts though the Caribbean Regional Epidemiological Center (CAREC).

The Initiative is scaleable so that it could be expanded within these countries or to additional countries globally at a future time.

Background on Today's Presidential Action

Worldwide, over 2 million women with HIV give birth each year, resulting in 720,000 babies who are infected with HIV during the mother's pregnancy, during birth or through breastfeeding. Particularly hard-hit are the countries of Africa and the Caribbean, where rates of infection are rising. With the provision of simple low-cost drug interventions like nevirapine, transmission rates can be reduced by up to 40 percent in targeted countries, saving tens of thousands of newborns from HIV infection.

President Bush's Commitment to Halting the Spread of HIV/AIDS

In FY 2002, the United States is providing $988 million for global HIV/AIDS assistance -- a 36% increase over FY 2001. In his FY 2003 Budget, President Bush proposed $1.1 billion in global HIV/AIDS assistance, including $640 million for USAID and $477 for HHS -- a 13 percent increase. The Bush Administration has dedicated $500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, making the United States by far the leading contributor to the Fund.

With this initiative, the United States is raising by $500 million its commitment to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, which was funded at less than $20 million in FY '01. This new International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative reflects an additional commitment beyond the existing U.S. commitment to the Global Fund.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: President Bush's International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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