U2’s lead singer Bono has given credit to former President George W. Bush and the massive US funding started in 2003, for helping to bringing about a drop in HIV infections.
Specialists in the field and AIDS activists alike, agree that the funding has done a world of good in sub-Saharan Africa, where efforts on raising awareness and relief is credited with saving 5 million lives.
In an interview with Bono and Bush at the latter’s Dallas, Texas, office, the singer spoke of how the former president took charge of the issue.
“Even people who are snide and snarky about the United States of America have to admit that millions and millions of lives have been saved by American taxpayers,” Fox News quoted Bono as saying.
“Being effective was the thing we had to prove — that there could be measurable results.
“That if American taxpayers were going to fork out for this historic AIDS initiative that somebody like me could come back years later, which I have, and say, America, you’re saving 5 million lives.
“It’s an extraordinary thing that you have done,” he added.
The president’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was launched in 2003, with 15 billion dollars pledged over a five-year period.