Laura Bush Announces U.S. Pledge To Help Fight HIV/AIDS
First Lady Laura Bush on Wednesday while visiting the capitol city of Abuja, Nigeria, announced a U.S. pledge of $163 million to help fight HIV/AIDS in the country, AP/NWCN.com reports (Riechmann, AP/NWCN.com, 1/18). Bush -- who is on four-day tour to Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria -- on Tuesday visited a clinic in Ghana that treats HIV-positive patients (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/17). On Wednesday at St. Mary's Hospital -- one of the first Nigerian hospitals with which the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief was associated -- Bush arrived with the first U.S.-backed shipment of antiretroviral drugs, enough to treat 500 people a year. While speaking with health workers and people living with HIV/AIDS, she said that it is important for "people who are HIV-positive to reach out to let other people know that they can be tested, they can find out they still have a life -- a positive life, a happy life." Although Nigeria is among the largest recipients of PEPFAR funds, there is concern that existing health care systems do not have the capacity to reach those most at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, the AP/NWCN.com reports. People in their teens and 20's account for the majority of HIV cases (AP/NWCN.com, 1/18).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.