In an effort to combat HIV infections in girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African nations hit hardest by the virus, the Obama administration recently announced a $300 million program to help reduce the growing numbers, according to the Associated Press.
The administration hopes to see a "25 percent infection reduction in females between ages 15-24 by the end of next year and a 40 percent reduction by the end of 2017," the report says.
"No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat HIV/AIDS," said National Security Adviser Susan Rice of the program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa, according to AP.
The new goals represent the next phase of the program, which was started by President George W. Bush and broadened by President Barack Obama, the report says.
The Obama administration released the new targets before "a U.N. summit on development goals for lifting people around the world out of poverty. Obama is scheduled to address the development meeting on Sunday," writes AP.
About half of all new HIV infections among girls and young women last year are from the 10 countries targeted by the new initiatives: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, AP reports.
Read more at the Associated Press.