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US to increase fund to fight AIDS in Latin America

PANAMA CITY (AFP) – The United States (US) will increase aid to Latin America to combat HIV/AIDS, First Lady Jill Biden said during a visit to Panama.

Biden made the announcement while visiting the Casa Hogar el Buen Samaritano – “The Good Samaritan Home” – a shelter east of Panama City for people living with HIV.

Biden’s spokesman Michael La Rosa said in a statement that the US will send an additional USD80.9 million to Latin America, USD12 million of which will go to Panama.

“The State Department is making an announcement for increased funding for PEPFAR,” Biden said, referring to the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

“There is hope on the horizon,” said Biden, who is on a tour of Latin America including Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica.

PEPFAR was launched by former president George Bush in 2003.

The US has invested USD100 billion in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

During her visit to Panama, Biden spoke with several HIV/AIDS patients, who told her about discrimination they face.

First Lady Jill Biden in Panama City. PHOTO: AP