EGPAF Urges Continued U.S. Leadership on HIV and AIDS Funding
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) welcomes Pres. Barack Obama’s newly released budget, but is concerned that funding levels for global HIV/AIDS do not match longtime U.S. political commitments to ending the AIDS epidemic.
“Under Pres. Obama’s leadership, the United States has inspired the world with a call for a generation free of HIV and set out achievable goals to accomplish that mission. Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas pedal,” said EGPAF President and CEO Charles Lyons. “I just returned from visiting Malawi and Kenya. There, I heard from HIV-positive women, health care workers, and ministers of health about how our work has changed and saved lives. There is still so much that needs to be done to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and we must ensure that the policy goals made by the Administration are supported by sufficient funding commitments.”
The president is proposing approximately $6 billion in funding for multilateral and bilateral efforts to fight HIV and AIDS globally.
“We are so close to eliminating pediatric AIDS globally, and we know that it can be achieved with steady and strategic investments,” added Lyons. “Governments around the world have successfully developed policies that are having a dramatic impact on reducing and eliminating this disease, but the momentum will only be maintained with deliberate support that strengthens maternal and child health platforms and gets test kits, vital medicines, and counseling services to people in need.”
EGPAF is strongly urging the President and Congress to prioritize HIV and AIDS funding to create a generation free of HIV and eliminate pediatric AIDS. Since last year, PEPFAR directly supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 49 million people; over the past ten years, the Global Fund has provided treatment for 4.2 million people living with HIV and AIDS.
Jane Coaston is Media Relations Coordinator for the Foundation, based in Washington, D.C.