Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

President Bush Awards Harvard $107 Million in Africa AIDS Fight

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

President Bush Awards Harvard $107 Million in Africa AIDS Fight

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

At a State Department press conference last month, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Randall L. Tobias announced that the Harvard School of Public Health's AIDS Treatment Care and Prevention Initiative in Africa will receive its first-year funding of $17 million of a five-year $107 million grant as part of President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Multi-million dollar grants also were awarded to three other U.S.-based institutions, including Catholic Relief Services (a consortium which includes the University of Maryland's Institute of Human Virology), the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The programs will focus on AIDS treatment and the prevention of the transmission of HIV firm mother to child.

The Harvard plan aims to roughly double the number of people currently being treated in sub-Saharan Africa in five years. Its goal is to put an additional 75,000 people on antiretroviral drugs in Nigeria, Tanzania and Botswana.

"The amount of money is huge, and it will allow us to scale up pretty fast," Dr. Phyllis J. Kanki, a professor of immunology and infectious disease at the Harvard AIDS Institute and the School of Public Health, told The Boston Globe. Kanki directs the school's program in Nigeria and will also run the new project.

Worldwide, more than 40 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS and each day 14,000 are added to their ranks. An estimated 8,000 people a day die from the disease.

President Bush unveiled a detailed five-year, $15 billion emergency plan aimed at turning the tide in the global fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The plan, which Bush first announced during his 2003 State of the Union address, describes itself as "the boldest international health initiative every undertaken by a single country. …

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