Obama to announce $50M funding for AIDS treatment

Obama is expected to announce a $50 million increase in spending on HIV and AIDS treatment in the U.S. / WNWO archive

President Barack Obama is setting a new goal of getting AIDS drugs to 2 million more people living with HIV around the world by the end of 2013.

Administration officials say Obama will also announce Thursday morning that he is directing a $50 million increase in spending onHIV and AIDS treatment in the U.S. The White House says there are 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, and 50,000 new infections each year.

"Here's what we can do when we work together. We've got leaders of both political parties standing behind something that works,"said Gayle Smith, Obama's senior director for development and democracy at the National Security Council.

Obama is speaking at a Washington event marking World AIDS Day. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will also talk via satellite.

The administration officials required anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president's official announcement.

"The only way to undermine this historic undertaking is if it becomes a partisan issue," Tony Fratto, a former Bush spokesman, said. "The reasons a Barack Obama and a George W. Bush can support America's leading role in addressing this disease may be very different, but what's important is they've sought the same goal."