Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at this week’s International AIDS Conference and said the US is committed to achieving an ‘AIDS-free generation.’
To help accomplish this, Clinton announced that the US is providing $150 million in additional funding that will, in part, be earmarked for putting an end to mother-to-child transmission of AIDS by 2015.
‘I’ve heard a few voices raise questions about America’s commitment,’ said Clinton. ‘The United States is committed, will remain committed. We will not back down. … We will fight for the resources we need to achieve this historic milestone.’
Clinton also reflected in the AIDS Memorial Quilt which she said for a quarter-century ‘has been a source of solace and comfort for people around the world, a visible way to honor and remember, to mourn husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, partners and friends.’
‘I well remember the moment in 1996 when Bill and I went to the National Mall to see the quilt for ourselves,’ she said. ‘I had sent word ahead that I wanted to know where the names of friends I had lost were placed so that I could be sure to find them. When we saw how enormous the quilt was covering acres of ground, stretching from the Capitol building to the Washington Monument, it was devastating.’
Clinton pointed out that 1996 was the last time the quilt could be displayed all at once because too many people kept dying and it simply got too big.
‘We want to bring about that moment when we stop adding names, when we can come to a gathering like this one and not talk about the fight against AIDS, but instead commemorate the birth of a generation that is free of AIDS.’ she said.