Obama sees progress on 35th anniversary of AIDS in US
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President Obama said on Sunday that although there is still more that needs to be done, he's confident an end to the AIDS epidemic is possible if we "build upon the steps we've taken."

"Nearly five years ago, I said that an AIDS-free generation is within reach, and today, the global community is committed to ending this epidemic by 2030," Obama said in a statement issued on the 35th anniversary of HIV/AIDS in the United States.

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"This will take American leadership, smart investments, and a commitment to ensure that all communities are heard and included as we move forward." 

"The past 35 years tell a story that bends from uncertainty, fear, and loss toward resilience, innovation, and hope," Obama said, noting a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report from June 5, 1981, on what would later be understood as the first documented AIDS cases in the U.S.

The president said that the country has learned that testing, treatment and education can help to save lives and fight the discrimination and stigma associated with AIDS.

He also commended the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which he said has helped save "millions of lives at home and around the world."

"My administration implemented our nation's first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and we've updated it through 2020," the statement said.

The president called on the country to remember the names of those who lost their lives to AIDS and to continue the fight against it.

"Let's rededicate ourselves," he said, "to ending this epidemic once and for all."