What We're Reading: New Federal Budget Avoids Massive Cuts to Global HIV/AIDS Programs
April 15, 2011
This week, we were once again reading about the U.S. federal budget and its effect on global health efforts, particularly the fight against HIV/AIDS.
President Obama signed a final spending bill today
, averting threats of a government shutdown and putting in place federal funding for the rest of the fiscal year.
While global HIV/AIDS programs were slightly reduced, the cuts were much less than the severe $800 million reductions that were proposed by some in Congress.
The Science Speaks blog reports
that the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC)
– which administers the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
– was cut by $14 million. A further .2% across-the-board reduction agreed upon in the budget deal would make the total cuts for OGAC $23.2 million.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
was also cut by a total of $2.1 million.
According to Science Speaks, “Global family planning and reproductive health services took the biggest hit in global health with a reduction of $85 million from current funding levels.”
United Nations agencies consider family planning as one of the four prongs of preventing new pediatric HIV infections.
Medical and scientific research also suffered reductions in the budget deal. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
– which funds much of HIV/AIDS research
– was cut $260 million from its current funding levels.
The ONE campaign released a statement
putting these spending reductions in context. They commended Congress for not instituting massive cuts to successful global health programs, particularly those that prevent new HIV infections in children, mothers, and families.
“There was a very real threat that Congress would severely slash these projects,” said Sheila Nix, the U.S. Executive Director for the ONE campaign
. “In the end, because these are projects that work and are measurable, they remained in the budget for this year.”
Robert Yule is the Senior Media Relations Manager at the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.