Asia Russell, Executive Director of the Health Global Access Project (Health GAP) issued the following statement:
“U.S. funding for the global AIDS response has been stuck in a deadly flat line for 7 years, despite the urgent need for expanded investments to increase access to life-saving HIV treatment and prevention services and defeat AIDS once and for all. Yesterday, leaders from the Senate put forward a proposal that could change this.
“Senators are waking up to the reality of the high stakes the world is facing. Under the leadership of Senators Leahy and Graham, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) has not only rejected President Trump’s deadly proposed cuts of more than $1 billion to global AIDS programs, they have rightly called for $50 million in increased AIDS funding. Senators Leahy and Graham should be applauded for this bipartisan effort. But while this increase begins to right the wrongs done by years of flat funding, $850 million in additional funding is needed to ensure the level of scale up needed.
“Unfortunately, the bill put forward by the House proposes to maintain the status quo of flatlined funding for the global AIDS response. We call on leaders in the House and Senate to fight to ensure a funding increase is contained in the final fiscal year 2019 budget as these bills are reconciled.“
In April 2018, Health GAP released a report providing new analysis on the devastating impact of years of flat funding, focusing on the widening gap between the need for life-saving HIV treatment and prevention and the resources available to end AIDS.
Health GAP also called on lawmakers to restore $114 million in cuts to family planning programs contained in the House Bill, which if enacted will undermine efforts to reach women with life saving integrated HIV and family planning services.