March 13, 2024 | Funding the Fight


President Biden’s Global HIV/AIDS Budget Fails to Meet the Moment

Jessica Bassett: 1 929 866 3929|

With Just 5 Years Left to Defeat AIDS as a Public Health Threat, Flat Funding Doesn’t do Enough to Save the Lives of People Living with HIV

President Biden released his Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) budget request on Monday, detailing his vision and priorities for the next fiscal year. The President requested $4.4 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which represents flat funding for PEPFAR compared to enacted budget levels for FY23. This comes on the heels of PEPFAR leadership implementing $120 million in mid-cycle cuts to existing Country Operational Plans, cuts that are not necessary and are disproportionately hitting programs for Key Populations. Advocates restated their call for cuts to be immediately reversed and reacted to the President’s Budget Request.

“This budget isn’t the budget of an administration that is serious about ending the AIDS pandemic,” said Asia Russell, Executive Director of Health GAP. “It’s the budget of an administration that is actively breaking a Biden-Harris campaign promise to end AIDS by 2030. Flat funding PEPFAR isn’t going to get us over the finish line. This budget reflects a shameful lack of ambition from a sitting President who is making his case to voters.” 

President Biden’s FY25 budget also calls on Congress to reauthorize the PEPFAR program, saying, “The Administration strongly supports congressional reauthorization of the PEPFAR program during FY 2024 and will work with congressional and other stakeholders to ensure that PEPFAR has the tools it needs to empower countries to reach the 95-95-95 goals and implement the five-year strategy.” Congressional inaction following baseless extremist attacks on the program caused PEPFAR’s legislative authorization to lapse on September 30, 2023. 

“PEPFAR is needlessly in peril after 20 years of saving lives. Politicians spent the first months of 2023 celebrating PEPFAR’s achievements and applauding bipartisan efforts to create and grow the program — but then let PEPFAR’s legislative authorization expire months later,” said Alyson Bancroft, Associate Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy at Health GAP. “The President’s budget is right to identify reauthorization as a priority, but there’s no reason for Congress to wait. Congress should take immediate action to pass a clean, 5-year reauthorization of PEPFAR to give the program the foundation it needs to move forward with its life-saving work.”