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George W. Bush, Washington Post Some 25,000 delegates are gathering in Washington this week for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. This is a moment of exceptional promise. Gains in AIDS treatment are remarkable — and continuing. One of the saddest tragedies in the world is for people to die of HIV/AIDS when lifesaving medicines are available. Just a decade ago, that tragedy was playing out across Africa. Thanks to the generosity of the American people, this is no longer the case today. Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis — working with committed governments, faith-based and community organizations, and the private sector — treatment and prevention have advanced at an almost unimaginable pace. This month, the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) announced that 6.2 million people are on lifesaving antiretroviral AIDS drugs in sub-Saharan Africa — up from just 100,000 in 2003. This is more than a vast statistic. It is a series of real people’s names — those of nurses, doctors, civil servants, farmers, students, entrepreneurs and parents who did not leave orphans behind. It is proof of what many in Africa call the Lazarus effect: Communities once given up for dead have been brought back to life, and millions of men, women and children are alive to build their futures. Read More