Washington, D.C. President Bush said Wednesday that he would ask Congress to increase U.S. support for global HIV/AIDS programs to $30 billion over five years from the current commitment of $15 billion.
The White House estimates the increased spending would treat 2.5 million people, prevent 12 million infections, and provide additional care for 12 million people, among them 5 million orphans and other children.
In the program's first three years, through March, it helped pay for treatment of 1.1 million people in 15 countries, nearly all of them in Africa.
"This level of assistance is unprecedented, and the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease," Bush said of the initial five-year program. "This investment has yielded the best possible return - saved lives."
In a speech in the White House Rose Garden, Bush said, "It's important that we continue the work we have begun."