George W. Bush to be honored in Washington on World AIDS Day

Oct 12, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Oct 13, 2022, 8:08 am
FILE - President George W. Bush makes a statement with first lady Laura Bush, right, on World AIDS ...

FILE - President George W. Bush makes a statement with first lady Laura Bush, right, on World AIDS Day, at the White House in Washington, Dec. 1, 2008 in Washington. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, that it will honor Bush and the former first lady on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, during its annual Tribute Celebration, for their work on combatting HIV/AIDS worldwide. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

              FILE - President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush greet local mothers affected by AIDS with their HIV-free children in the courtyard of the Abuja National Hospital and laboratory in Abuja, Nigeria, the last stop on his African tour, July 12, 2003. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
            
              FILE - President George W. Bush signs the United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 in a ceremony of the East Room of the White House, July 30, 2008, in Washington. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, that it will honor Bush and the former first lady on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, during its annual Tribute Celebration, for their work on combatting HIV/AIDS worldwide. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
            
              FILE - First lady Laura Bush, right, comforts Agnes Achov, who is an HIV-positive widow with eight children, during a visit to Saint Mary's Hospital in Gwagwalada, outside of Abuja, Nigeria, Jan. 18, 2006. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, that it will honor former President George W. Bush and the former first lady on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, during its annual Tribute Celebration, for their work on combatting HIV/AIDS worldwide. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
            
              FILE - President George W. Bush makes a statement with first lady Laura Bush, right, on World AIDS Day, at the White House in Washington, Dec. 1, 2008 in Washington. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, that it will honor Bush and the former first lady on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, during its annual Tribute Celebration, for their work on combatting HIV/AIDS worldwide. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are returning to Washington next month to be recognized for their work on combatting HIV/AIDS worldwide.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition announced Thursday that it will honor Bush and the former first lady on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, during its annual Tribute Celebration.

The Bushes will receive the Global Leadership Award for establishing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, in 2003. Bush announced the program in his State of the Union address in January 2003. He signed legislation to establish it in May 2003.

Liz Schrayer, the coalition’s president and CEO, called the AIDS relief program “one of the most significant achievements in global health in our lifetime.” In a statement, she also praised the Bushes for “transformational leadership” in launching it nearly 20 years ago.

PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation in history to address a single disease.

Since the program’s inception, the U.S. government has spent nearly $100 billion to respond to HIV/AIDS worldwide, saving 21 million lives, preventing millions of infections and making strides to control the HIV/AIDS pandemic in more than 50 countries, mostly in Africa and the Caribbean, according to the State Department.

The Bushes were most recently in Washington in September. Laura Bush was a guest of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden at a White House music event on the South Lawn featuring Elton John, a longtime advocate for people with HIV/AIDS.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is a network of 500 businesses and nongovernmental organizations, national security and foreign policy experts, and business, religious, academic, military and community leaders from across the United States who support investing in development and diplomacy alongside defense.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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George W. Bush to be honored in Washington on World AIDS Day