President Obama Observes World AIDS Day

U.S. president continues tradition of displaying a large red ribbon on the exterior of the White House.
3:00 | 12/02/13

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Transcript for President Obama Observes World AIDS Day
And it. I'm down Cutler New York where there's ABC news digital special report President Obama says an aids free generation. Is within our reach if the world can channel energy compassion and money into research and prevention. The White House issuing the proclamation on this the 26 annual world aids day. Everybody. Well thank you grant for. Outstanding leadership. -- -- national aids policy in. Thanks to all of you for being here this is -- pretty distinguished crowd I have to say. And it is wonderful to be. I should say actually welcome back because many -- -- joined us before. As we mark new milestones and our fight against HIV candidates. And I'm honored that you could join us commemorating world aids day which was yesterday. And this is time for remembering -- friends and loved ones but we've lost. -- -- -- extraordinary progress thanks to some people in this room that we've been able to make and most importantly -- committing ourselves. The mission that we ship which is achieving an aids free generation. I especially want to walk. Ministers from our partner countries. Members of my administration including secretary. Sebelius sector -- Kerry. Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Mark -- from the global fund to fight aids tuberculosis and malaria and we've also got here. Francis Collins from the National Institutes of Health. Michelle see today from UN aids. -- -- -- -- -- Was carrying on the great worker -- Eric was villas are acting global aids coordinator and our many friends from or -- world including Bill Gates. So thank you -- for drugs -- today. Every year -- This is a moment reflect on how far we've come since the early days of the aids epidemic. And those you -- through it remember. All too well. The fear and the stigma and how hard people of HIV had to fight to be seen or heard. -- be treated with basic compassion. Do you remember how little we knew about how to prevent aids. Or how to treat it. What we did know was the devastation that is what. Striking down driver men and women in the prime of their lives spreading from city to city -- country to country seemingly over night. Today that picture is transformed. Thanks to her courage and love of so many of -- in this Roman around the world. Awareness -- -- work. Research has searched. Prevention treatment and care are now saving millions of lives not only in the world's richest countries but in some of the world's poorest countries as well. And for many -- was testing and access to the right treatment. The disease that was once a -- death sentence. Now comes with a good chance -- -- healthy and productive life that's extraordinary achievement. Is present I've told you. That in this fight you'll have a partner in me and I said that if the United States want to be the global leader combating this disease and we needed to act like. By doing our part. And by leading the world to do more together and that's what we've done. In partnership with so many -- -- we've created the first conference of national HIV aids strategy rooted in the simple vision. That every person should get access to life extending care regardless of age or gender race or ethnicity sexual orientation. Gender identity or socio economic steps. -- continued to support the Ryan White care act to help underserved communities we. And we -- the entry ban so that people. With HIV are no longer barred from the United States which -- the international aids conference being -- last year for the very first time in over twenty years. This -- -- issued an executive order creating the HIV care continuum initiative to boost our federal efforts to prevent and treat HIV. Last month. I signed -- HIV organ policy equity act to finally allow research. It's organ donations between people with HIV step achieved with bipartisan support. And thanks of the -- Carrick millions of insured Americans will be able to get tested -- of short. Americans weren't sure it will not be able to have access to affordable health care coverage and beginning in January. No American will be again denied health insurance because of their HIV -- On world aids day two years ago I announced additional 35 million dollars for. The aids drug assistance program which help people pay for lifesaving medications. At one time. The need was so great that over 9000 people were on the wait list. We about to get those numbers down and I'm proud to announce that as of last week we have clear that -- -- we are down to zero. So -- making progress. But we're all here. Today because we know how much work remains. To be -- Here in the United States we need to keep focusing on investments. To communities that are still being -- parks including. Gay and bisexual men African Americans and -- -- We need to keep up the fight in our cities including Washington DC which in recent years has produced. Diagnosed infections by nearly half. Really keep pursuing scientific breakthroughs. Today I'm pleased to announce a new initiative. At the National Institutes of -- to advance research into an HIV -- We're gonna redirect a hundred million dollars into this project to develop a new generation therapies. Because the United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries and -- To put HIV and -- long term remission without requiring lifelong fear -- Or better yet. Eliminated completely. And of course this -- extends far beyond our borders. I became president I inherited President Bush is phenomenal program -- which has helped millions around the world receive lifesaving treatment. And we have -- sustain those efforts we've expanded. Reaching -- -- even more people especially mothers and shall. Earlier this year -- wrong reached a wonderful milestone. The one millionth baby born without HIV. Metal alongside. Alongside the rapid decline in new HIV infections and estimates. In sub saharan. Africa. On my visit to south after this year -- visited the clinic run by. Bishop Desmond Tutu and had the honor of spending time with so -- extraordinary impatience. And counselors and outreach workers doctors. Every day they are doing extraordinary work and when you visit this facility you cannot help but be inspired by what they do. Each and every -- in part thanks to the support. The United States of America. Saving lives and they're changing the -- their country in the world approaches this disease. And that's work that we have to continue to advance. On world -- state two years ago -- set new prevention and treatment targets for -- four. Like increasing the number of mothers we reach so that we prevent their children. From becoming infected and helping six million people get treatment by the end of -- thirteen. Today I'm proud to announce that we not only -- our goal. We've exceeded our treatment are so we've helped six point seven million people receive -- it. We -- Which is why after a weaker they'll be proud to slime that for stewardship and oversight to keep this program going strong. -- legislator to applaud legislation. Looking ahead it's time for the world to come together to set new goals. Right now we're working hard to get a permanent leader. In place -- -- form and once we do. Former first items business will be competing in meeting early next year -- the use United States and our partners worldwide including governments the global fund UN. -- and civil society can sit around one table and develop joint HIV prevention treatment goals for the countries where we global fund. Do business. Hold each other accountable and will continue to work to turn the tide. This epidemic together. That includes keeping up our support for the global -- You know its success speaks for itself -- -- over six million people in over a 140 countries receive. And so anti retroviral. -- and now it's time to replenish the -- And the United States will contribute one dollar for every two dollar pledged. By other donors over the next three years up to five billion dollars total four from the United States. And the United Kingdom has made -- similar products. So today I want urge all those were attending the global fund replenishment meetings -- today and tomorrow to take up this commitment. Don't leave our money on the table. It's been inspiring to see the countries most affected by this disease vastly increased their own contributions. To this fight in some cases providing. More than donor countries to. And that ought to inspire all of us to give more to do more so we can save more lives. After all none of the progress we've made against states could have been achieved by a single. Or foundation. Or corporation working along. The result of countless people including so many view. Working together from countries large and small went through these universities. Media civil society activists. More than anything I think it's thanks to the greatest people living with HIV around the world who shared. Their stories. -- like your strength demanded. Your dignity be recognized and let the fight to spare others anguish of this disease. You know we can't change the past for -- -- wrenching pain but we can't do. And what we have to mr. -- different future guided by our love for those we couldn't say. That allows us to do everything we can. Everything in our power to save those that we can't and that's my commitment to -- as president. United States America will remain. The global leader in the fight against HIV -- next. We will stand with you every step of this journey until we reach the day that we know was possible. When all men and women can protect themselves from infection. A day when all people of HIV have. Access to the treatments that extend their lives. The day when there no babies being born with -- HIV aids and can we achieve at long last what was once hard to imagine and that's an aids free generation. That's a world I want from my daughters that's -- world that all of us want for our families that we stay focused. If we keep fighting if we honor the memory of those. That we've lost. If -- some in the same courage that they displayed. By insisting on whatever it takes however long -- I believe we're gonna win this but. And I'm confident. That will do so together so thank you very much for extraordinary efforts. First. Ambitious plan with a tone of optimism. A -- Atlanta for the present today marking the 26 and world aids day which was yesterday today that the official. Proclamation ceremony at the White House there. -- ABC's Mary Bruce is at the White House marking this as well and -- the first set the proclamation today obviously. Optimistic hopeful in tone but what has the Obama administration. Done in support of aids research and prevention programs at home and -- overseas. What you just heard from the president a lot of the steps of his -- administration -- taken to strengthen prevention increased education. -- go ahead and boost research around the world but -- -- the president mentioned there is still a lot more to be done here. And they mention all of the efforts that there they have under way here we know that there's also more pressure on this administration a bipartisan group of lawmakers just last week urging. This White House to go ahead and -- even more funding for -- -- which of course is the president's. Emergency plan for aids relief so while there's been much work in progress -- there's always more to be done -- And that was in recognition to the previous administration the Bush Administration that has started that -- far. Effort but how in fact did the president make it tying into the Affordable Care Act up -- that something that's on everyone's mind today. With those ambitious goals of trying to get the government website up and fixed and running. But today during the proclamation there was a connection. That's right in his written statement the president made clear to point out that the Affordable Care Act. Does take steps to cover testing to make sure that that's included under the Affordable Care Act of people's insurance going forward. But beyond that the Affordable Care Act also make sure to prohibit any discrimination. Based on sonic sonic consumers HIV status so. Always making an effort -- to -- to mention all of the positive benefits included under the affordable care. And let me ask you about that than -- because I know there have been a lot of attention a lot of -- -- focused on. The White House website and as far as -- corrections that we're going to be made for that Howell is the site operating today. Well the administration of course this weekend announcing that the site is vastly improved they are not out of the woods -- yet no mission accomplished moment yet from this White House. They announced that it is now working for the vast majority of users and that means really that 50000 people can now be on the site at one time but -- already seeing some problems with that today again. You go and what bought onto the website at points this afternoon you get -- sign that basically -- noticed excuse me that says that the website is reached that capacity -- 50000 users. And the administration knew that this was a possibility because of that they've set up this -- -- system they're calling it but if you. Try to log on during those times when -- at capacity. You're encouraged give -- your email address given your contact information and that the site will contact you win it's all clear there's a better time to log on so while there has been improvement it's still interesting to note that two months into this roll out process they are still encountering a lot of problems and despite those fixes I'm -- that there has been a response that from Republicans -- that effort. Look at long is this website is having problems in the roll out is still facing glitches that's good news as far as the Republicans are concerned so. Obviously the botched -- has done and to cause a big hit to the president's. Approval numbers we've seen his trustworthiness -- take a hit and so all of that is good news for Republicans as they try to continue. And fight the affordable care despite this roll out so -- Yes these steps and a good direction are are a positive direction are good for this administration all of these continued problems are welcome news for Republicans. Mary let me ask me for alleged -- the biggest issue -- going forward despite those advancements as those improvements the White -- is able to roll out for today. What is the biggest stumbling block or -- -- -- they -- that the White House is facing. As -- imagine you are not out of the woods just yet a lot of the problems have been fixed have been on the consumer side of things on the back end of the web -- there are still a lot of problems in fact. A large portion of the web -- still has yet to be built and a lot of this involves insurers this is the part of the web site where a consumer's information -- is transmitted to insurers to make sure they actually are covered and that's where a lot of the problems. Still exists and that's a big problem for consumers and for the insurers obviously they're questioning -- that keep in mind if -- signed up. Four. The healthcare -- got for insurance to the Affordable Care Act. You do so by December 23 -- your coverage kicks in on January wants -- they have about a month -- to go ahead and fix this problem and make sure that it's a smooth process from start to finish. That time is ticking and everyone is watching including Mary Bruce outside the White House very thank you for your time. We have a complete report right here and Before -- -- Europe one last look at the White House that is of course. Outfitted with that giant red -- marking the 26. World aids day yesterday but today the official recognition and a proclamation made by the president for increased efforts for -- by the president's emergency plan. For aids relief. For now on Dan -- there -- New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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