14. Congress Rejects Cuts to Global HIV/AIDS Funding
Katie Lapides Coester
This week on Capitol Hill, Congress unveiled its final spending package for fiscal year 2015. That package rejected proposed cuts to global HIV/AIDS funding, increasing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by $300 million and funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at requested levels.
U.S. funding plays a vital role as we push towards ending AIDS. The United States is the largest supporter of the global AIDS response and PEPFAR alone directly and indirectly supports 7.7 million people on HIV treatment worldwide.
But it’s not just adults that this funding helps. PEPFAR has ensured more than one million babies have been born HIV-free and is working hard to scale up access to treatment for children through its Accelerating Children’s Treatment (ACT) Initiative.
“Every minute counts in the effort to end AIDS in children,” said Chip Lyons, president and CEO of EGPAF. “Improved prevention, diagnostic, and treatment measures to ensure mothers and their children are reached with the medicines they need to live healthy lives are desperately needed. And we need them today, because tomorrow will be too late for too many children living with HIV.”
Advocates and partners were very concerned that the proposed $300 million cut to the global HIV/AIDS account would set back many of the gains we have made against the epidemic. Supporters of EGPAF and other organizations reached out to their elected officials with a clear message: Congress must stay committed to defeating AIDS.
Congress heard us! Rejecting these cuts shows that they are still committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The goal of an AIDS-free generation is not just a dream but a milestone that, with continued U.S. support, we will reach.
Because an AIDS-free generation is not just a dream, from November 24 through December 26, we are highlighting 25 ways that EGPAF, our partners, and every-day people are helping and/or can help make it a reality. Pediatric HIV/AIDS is solvable, but we can't do it alone. Each and every one of us has an important role to play.