President Bush Restates U.S. Commitment to Preventing Vertical HIV Transmission, Announces Planned Trip to Africa
President Bush last night reiterated his support for his $500 million initiative to reduce rates of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa and the Caribbean and announced that he will travel to Africa next year, the New York Times reports. Bush, who was attending a dinner in memory of civil rights leader Rev. Leon Sullivan, said, "One of the greatest obstacles to Africa's development is HIV/AIDS," adding that the United States will "take the lead" in fighting the spread of the virus (Bumiller, New York Times, 6/21). President Bush on Wednesday announced a three-year, $500 million HIV/AIDS initiative focused on preventing vertical HIV transmission in 12 African nations and the Caribbean nations of Guyana and Haiti (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/20). White House advisers see Bush's planned trip to Africa as a way to "extend" his "'compassionate conservative' agenda" to other nations and to demonstrate that his administration is "interested in more than war and the campaign against terrorism," the Times reports (New York Times, 6/21). Although the dates and itinerary of Bush's Africa trip were not disclosed, a government official said that the trip would include a visit to sub-Saharan Africa (Mohammed, Reuters, 6/21).
NPR's "Morning Edition" today included an interview with Jendayi Frazer, senior director for African affairs with the National Security Council, in which she discussed Bush's HIV initiative. The full segment will be available in RealPlayer Audio online after noon ET (Edwards, "Morning Edition," NPR, 6/21).
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