U2 star Bono has heaped praise upon America's politicians and medical researchers for their decade-long commitment to fighting Aids because the world is finally "talking seriously about the end of this global epidemic".
The singer and devoted activist penned an opinion piece for The New York Times on Thursday (01Dec11) in honour of World Aids Day and in the article, he thanks a handful of U.S. leaders for their courageous work in creating such progress.
He writes, "Today, here we are, talking seriously about the end of this global epidemic. There are now 6.6 million people on life-saving Aids medicine. But still too many are being infected. New research proves that early antiretrorviral treatment, especially for pregnant woman, in combination with male circumcision will slash the rate of new H.I.V. cases by up to 60 per cent. This is the tipping point we have been campaigning for. We're nearly there.
"How did we get here? America led. I mean really led... A conservative president, George W. Bush, leading the largest ever response to the pandemic; the same Mr. Bush banging his desk when I complained that the drugs weren't getting there fast enough, me apologising to Mr. Bush when they did; Bill Clinton, arm-twisting drug companies to drop their prices; Hilary Rodham Clinton, making it policy to eradicate the transmission of H.I.V. from mother to child; President Obama, who is expected to make a game changing announcement this World Aids Day, to finish what his predecessors started...
"And then there were the everyday, every-stripe Americans. Like a tattooed trucker I met off I-80 in Iowa who, when he heard how many African truck drivers were infected with H.I.V., told me he'd go and drive the pills there himself. Thanks to them, America led. Really led."