Subject: Why AIDS?
Fri, 16 Jun 2006 07:14:35 -0700
From: "Bill Clinton" <eNews@ClintonFoundation.org>
I met Ricky Ray in 1992 during my first presidential campaign.
Ricky was a hemophiliac who
contracted HIV through a blood transfusion
and he died a few weeks before my
For the past 14 years, I've
kept Ricky's picture on my desk
as a reminder of the 40 million
people in the world who live with
While we couldn't save Ricky Ray in 1992, it is my goal, and the
goal of my Foundation, to make sure
that the millions of people who
are living with HIV/AIDS have a
chance at life.
Every day, we are making
progress towards ensuring that no
adult or child dies prematurely
of this preventable disease.
My Foundation has already made progress in this fight by reducing
the cost of care and treatment for
children and adults. Hundreds of
thousands of people in over 55 countries
are currently receiving anti-retroviral
medicines at our dramatically reduced
prices, and in the past year, we
have doubled the number of children
on treatment in the developing world
(outside Brazil and Thailand).
Traveling around the world, I have met children in Lesotho, mothers
in rural China, and teenagers in
Kenya -- all once on the brink of
death, but now glowing with the
promise of life because of access
to anti-retroviral medicines.
However, these stories of
success are too few, and the ravages
of AIDS continue to kill millions.
I am heartened by the progress we are making but saddened by how
few children are receiving treatment.
While it is encouraging that
we can provide a woman in rural
Africa with AIDS medicines from
the other side of the globe, it
is unacceptable that we cannot empower
her sufficiently to protect herself
from the disease in the first place.
There are thousands of people in governments, NGOs, and multilateral
agencies working tirelessly to combat
and treat this disease. It's thanks to those efforts that 1.3
million people are getting the medicines
they need to stay alive. But 1.3 million isn't enough when millions
more go without treatment.
Access to lifesaving care and treatment are now universal in the
If we can do the same thing
in the developing world, we will
save a generation of lives by the
end of the decade.
We have a long way to go,
but we are making progress. During
the next few weeks, I will be emailing
you with ways you can get involved
in our Foundation's mission to win
the fight against AIDS.
Working together, we can beat this human tragedy.