The public hasn't warmed up to George W. Bush since he left office, but a new study out of Stanford University shines a positive light on the embattled president's legacy. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, started in 2003 under Bush, has saved 1.2 million lives in Africa, according to the study published yesterday.
As the largest US foreign aid health program ever, the plan focuses on treating people already infected. So far $18.8 billion has been spent. Under Bush, a small portion also went to prevention programs that were typically abstinence-only.
Last July Congress dedicated another $48 billion to keep the program going through 2013. Although the President's Emergency Plan has kept over one million people alive, the HIV infection rates have remained steady. While it's great to see that the US has done much to keep individuals infected with AIDS alive longer with less suffering, it would be great to see a drop in infection rates over the next few years.