Bush's Unsung AIDS Policy

Under-the-radar program saves millions in Africa
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2008 6:19 PM CST
President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attend a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Africa at the United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Charles...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A little known, $19-billion program has provided medicine to 1.4 million AIDS-stricken Africans and may be President Bush's most enduring success story, the New York Times reports.  “I’m amazed at how little (Americans) know about Pepfar,” said one Ugandan doctor of the program. Africans are terrified that “the Bush funds” will leave office when a new president is sworn in next year.

Bush has asked for another $30 billion to fund the program, while advocates say $50 billion is needed. Many oppose Bush’s demand that funds be tied to abstinence-only programs, but even Bush’s critics admit that his plan changed the AIDS game: Before Pepfar, only 50,000 Africans received AIDS medicine from the US.