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The United States has pledged US$15 billion to fight HIV/AIDS in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and one in the Caribbean over the next five years, tripling the amount it currently spends.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday (28 January), US President George W. Bush said that the grant — which includes US$10 million of 'new money' — would provide anti-retroviral drugs to two million people with the disease.

“This comprehensive plan will prevent seven million new AIDS infections…treat at least two million people with life extending drugs …and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS,” he said.

The bulk of the money provided under the “Emergency Plan for Aids Relief” will go to Botswana, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Of the US$10 billion in new assistance, US$1 billion is to be given to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.