A recently leaked draft of President Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), published by Foreign Policy shows the administration plans deep cuts to the President’s Emergency Program For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other critical programs that provide condoms and conduct HIV research.
An initial analysis of the draft budget finds:
“Slashing funding for HIV treatment and prevention programs puts millions of lives at risk,” said Hilary McQuie, Director of U.S. Policy and Grassroots Mobilization at the Health Global Access Project (GAP). “It is deadly, short-sighted and costly, throwing away years of investment. Slashing funding just as we are beginning to get control of the global AIDS pandemic will result in a resurgence at the very time we could be on the cusp of an AIDS-free generation.”
This information comes on the heels of the announcement that the Global Gag Rule will extend to PEPFAR and other global health programs – an unprecedented expansion of this restrictive policy that will have a chilling effect on HIV service providers. Expanding the Global Gag Rule to include PEPFAR runs counter to the administration’s stated goals on HIV. It will reduce the standard of sexual and reproductive care provided to women living with and women at risk for HIV and risks undoing years of progress on women’s health in PEPFAR countries.
“Last week, hundreds of constituents concerned about global AIDS called, protested, and met with their members of Congress to demand they oppose efforts to slow down or cap enrollment of people on life-saving HIV treatment and support efforts to speed up the global HIV response,” said Emily Sanderson, National Organizer for the Student Global AIDS Campaign and Health GAP. “Representatives have told constituents over and over again that they make the budget, not the President, and we expect them to do better than the White House when it comes to global AIDS.”
“We call on Congress to reject Trump’s effort to slash and burn the global health budgets — and join Senator Graham in declaring the budget ‘dead on arrival,’” continued McQuie.
Health GAP will produce a full analysis of the White House budget when it is released in early May.
Click here for an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.