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Support the Global Response to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

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AVAC
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The United States Congress is currently considering the future budget of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Members of Congress are encouraging you to reach out to your representatives and advocate for strong funding.

Barbara Lee, a member of Congress from California, provides more information in a note below, including a call to sign on to her letter to other members of Congress.

Dear Colleague:

I urge you to sign on to the letter below requesting funding to support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in the FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill.

The U.S.’s bipartisan commitment to PEPFAR and the Global Fund not only saves lives, but also contributes directly to stability, security and economic growth worldwide. Our strong support for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, coupled with scientific advances and lessons learned from a decade of implementation, has the potential to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS and help us meet our target of achieving an AIDS-free generation.

These contributions are just a fraction of 1% of the federal budget, yet enable PEPFAR and the Global Fund to continue its critical, life-saving work and influence the organization’s ability to leverage additional resources from other donors. Strong support for both PEPFAR and the Global Fund will enhance U.S. leadership in the world and increase our ability to meet seminal global health goals that are within reach.

A copy of the letter is below. If you need further information or would like to sign on, please contact Monica Pham in Rep. Lee’s office (monica.pham@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely,
Barbara Lee
Member of Congress



Letters to Congress

A letter to members of the United States House of Representatives is below. Click here to download a letter for the United States Senate.

The Honorable Kay Granger
Chairwoman
Appropriations Subcommittee for
State and Foreign Operations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nita Lowey
Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee for
State and Foreign Operations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Lowey:

We thank you for your continued commitment to global health, to investments in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We are grateful for your support and leadership last year, when the committee began to restore critical funds that have been cut from PEPFAR since 2011. Our strong support for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, coupled with scientific advances and lessons learned from implementation, has the potential to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS and help us meet our target of achieving an AIDS-free generation. As you begin to consider the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations bill, we encourage you to allocate $1.35 billion for the Global Fund, $4.88 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), funding that is urgently needed to fully capitalize on our prior investments and continue the fight against this terrible disease. We also ask that you support funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global AIDS Programs at $132 million and $350 million for the USAID HIV/AIDS program.

Globally, our support through PEPFAR and the Global Fund is dramatically reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. To date, PEPFAR has supported over 5.1 million people with lifesaving treatment, has prevented millions from becoming infected with HIV, and as of last month, it reached one of its greatest milestones yet—the birth of the one millionth baby to be born HIV-free. As of September 30, 2014, PEPFAR is supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for 7.7 million men, women, and children. Between FY2010 and FY2014, PEPFAR supported country governments in adding 141,677 new health care workers to the health system in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. In FY2014 alone, PEPFAR provided care and support for more than 5 million orphans and vulnerable children, supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 56.7 million people (14.2 million of whom were pregnant women), and supported more than 6.5 million voluntary medical male circumcisions to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. That is why we urge you to maintain funding sufficient to sustain PEPFAR’s average pace of scale-up for core treatment and prevention intervention, and to also deepen the impact and increasing the geographic reach of PEPFAR’s Accelerating Children’s Treatment initiative as well as the program’s DREAMS Partnership.

The Global Fund is better positioned than ever to help accelerate progress on HIV/AIDS, as well as contain tuberculosis and malaria. Global Fund investments, including through work with its partners, have also produced remarkable results. As of December 2014, Global Fund-financed programs have supported treatment for 7.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS; detected and treated 12.3 million cases of tuberculosis; and distributed 450 million insecticide treated nets for the prevention of malaria. For every $1 invested by the United States, the Global Fund leverages $2 from other donor—a good return on investment that ensures that the response to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is shared between more partners. And while the U.S. has historically been the largest donor, the pooling of resources from the global community ensures the burden of the response to the three diseases does not rest solely on American taxpayers. If the U.S. pulls back at this critical moment, not only do we risk rolling back the successes achieved to date, but it will send a signal to other countries that it is acceptable for them to retreat from funding as well.

PEPFAR and the Global Fund have begun to turn the corner on one of the gravest epidemics in history, and the United States’ globally recognized leadership in this area is something that every American can be proud of. Experts thought that the UN High-Level meeting’s 2011 commitment to reach 15 million people with treatment by 2015 was impossible, but U.S. leadership ensured that this target would be met, and likely even exceeded. Impoverished countries the hardest hit by HIV have been progressively stepping up with more and more of their own resources, and PEPFAR has been able to strategically focusing on the highest-impact geographic areas and the most vulnerable populations. It’s no time to turn back now.

The U.S.’s strong bipartisan commitment to PEPFAR and the Global Fund not only saves lives, but also contributes directly to stability, security and economic growth worldwide and boosts America’s image abroad. Restoring cuts to PEPFAR and sustaining support for the Global Fund will enhance U.S. leadership in the world and increase our ability to strengthen health systems that protect against virulent disease outbreaks such as Ebola and other deadly infectious diseases, while making progress in combating tuberculosis and malaria.

Thank you for considering our request and for your ongoing leadership in fighting HIV/AIDS at home and around the world.

Sincerely,
Barbara Lee