C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ Features Interview With Global AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias on Thursday appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" to discuss the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the report submitted to Congress on Monday detailing the Bush administration's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative ("Washington Journal," C-SPAN, 2/26). Bush in May 2003 signed into law a bill (HR 1298) authorizing the initiative, which seeks to prevent seven million new HIV infections, provide care for 10 million people living with the disease and provide treatment to two million HIV-positive people living in 14 African and Caribbean countries. The 99-page report details how $9 billion in new funding will be spent over the next five years on AIDS programs in Africa and the Caribbean. The United States also plans to grant $5 billion to countries through existing agreements and $1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/24). Tobias said that about 55% of the initiative's total funding will be used for treatment, with 75% of that to be used for the provision of antiretroviral drugs. He added that "one of the biggest obstacles" in many of the countries targeted by the initiative was a lack of trained people to provide treatment and care and that "a good deal of money" will go toward building a health care infrastructure. The Bush administration's initiative is different from past efforts because it "integrates treatment, prevention and care," focuses "significant resources" in countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS and establishes a "different leadership model" that combines several government programs across different agencies into a "single effort, single strategy and single focus," Tobias said ("Washington Journal," C-SPAN, 2/26).
An excerpt of the segment is available online in RealPlayer.