HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese Minister of Health Zhang Wenkang to promote enhanced United States-China cooperation on HIV/AIDS prevention and research. Additionally, Secretary Thompson announced two new initiatives that will broaden related HIV/AIDS activities in China.
The MOU, signed during Minister Zhang's visit to Washington, D.C., calls for increased collaboration in the development of effective intervention strategies to prevent HIV transmission, including new strategies to enhance blood safety and reduce HIV transmission in health care settings. In addition, the U.S. and China will increase efforts to improve HIV/AIDS epidemiology and surveillance in China, and will provide additional opportunities for training and exchange of scientists and health care professionals.
"We must continue to be aggressive in the global fight against HIV/AIDS," Secretary Thompson said. "This agreement will build upon programs already in place and will intensify important contributions made on the front lines. This MOU underscores the Bush administration's commitment to combating HIV/AIDS, and we look forward to working with our international partners at the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona next month."
During the signing ceremony, Secretary Thompson also announced two new HHS initiatives that will complement the goals of the MOU:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global AIDS Program (GAP): HHS will assign two personnel to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control to provide the local government with assistance in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The long-term goal of this collaboration is to provide financial and technical assistance on HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS care and treatment, surveillance and capacity building. Early activities will include joint surveillance and laboratory assessments, consultation on HIV counseling and testing, and early planning for a national HIV/AIDS public health training system.
National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will award a $14.8 million five-year grant to the CDC in China. This multi-project grant, known as the Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA), will expand China's research activities in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and vaccine development, in cooperation with experts from U.S. universities and medical schools. The CIPRA grant is an important new element in NIH's portfolio of research efforts in China, including China's participation as sites in three major domestic/international research networks; collaborative studies between U.S. and Chinese investigators; and research training for Chinese scientists.
In his fiscal year 2003 budget, President Bush proposed $1.1 billion in global HIV/AIDS assistance - a 13 percent increase over fiscal year 2002 - including $540 million for the U.S. Agency for International Development, $144 million for the CDC Global AIDS Program, $233 million for NIH and CDC research conducted at international sites, and a $200 million contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In total, the Bush administration has dedicated $500 million to the Global Fund, or 24 percent of the Fund's total pledges.
On June 19, President Bush announced a new $500 million International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative that seeks to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to infants and to improve health care delivery in Africa and the Caribbean.
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