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US to extend HIV/AIDS aid programme: Pence

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Washington, Nov 30 (IANS) US Vice President Mike Pence has said that President Donald Trump will soon sign a legislation to extend an HIV/AIDS aid programme that started 15 years ago.

Pence made the announcement on Thursday at a White House event marking the upcoming World AIDS Day, which falls on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Senate approved a bill on Wednesday to extend the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for five years and sent it to the White House for Trump’s signature.

The House passed an identical bill earlier this month.

Pence said Trump believes that the reauthorisation was "a critical component" of the administration’s commitment to combat AIDS.

Former President George W. Bush signed PEPFAR into law in 2003.

HIV/AIDS advocates said they welcome the news while urging the Trump administration to drop efforts to slash federal funding for the program.

Observed on December 1 every year since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic and mourning those who have died of the disease.

 

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