SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

U2 members praise U.S. for leadership on treating AIDS

Members of the band U2 recently discussed the importance of American bipartisan leadership in delivering more antiretroviral treatment to AIDS patients, ONE, a campaigning and advocacy organization, said on Monday.

Bono gave the speech after he and the Edge accepted the Visionary Award on Saturday from the Palm Springs International Film Festival on behalf of U2. During the speech, Bono praised the U.S. for saving the lives of 10 million people in the developing world through the use of antiretroviral therapy.

"You probably don't know this, but there are now 10 million lives in the developing world saved by antiretroviral therapy, and American taxpayers have paid for about three quarters of them," Bono said. "Thank you, America. 7.8 million sentient souls are alive because of AIDS drugs that the United States of America paid for, and they are not just alive, but allowed to thrive, to have healthy kids, to be alive to raise those kids, to work, to contribute to their economies. And we're at the tipping point - amazing to be able to say this - we are actually at the tipping point if we keep up the pressure."

Bono said the U.S. was following the example of the late Nelson Mandela by putting aside partisanship to help people around the world fight the deadly disease.

"It's ironic that by following an African's example, American and European AIDS activists like ONE were successful in encouraging Democrats and Republicans here in the U.S. to put aside their differences and work together on what is turning out to be the largest health intervention in the history of medicine," Bono said. "Thank you, America."

Bono said the world is in reach of declaring the first AIDS-free generation and he thanked AIDS-focused movies like "Philadelphia" and "Dallas Buyers Club" for helping to shape U2's values.