Health Global Access Project (Health GAP) released the following reaction to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request:
“Just one month ago, President Trump promised during the State of the Union Address to defeat AIDS in the U.S. and beyond. But the president’s budget proposal to Congress today—which threatens to gut life-saving HIV treatment and prevention programs—unmasks his lies. If implemented, Trump’s proposal would wipe out years of progress in the effort to end the AIDS pandemic.
“The budget proposal from the White House includes $1.35 billion in cuts to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and $392 million in cuts to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria compared with enacted FY 2019 levels. The budget request would also gut domestic programs that provide critical social services to people living with and affected by HIV here in the U.S. These are the deepest cuts ever proposed by Trump, whereas his proposed cuts in 2017 were predicted to result in the deaths of one million people with HIV worldwide. The budget also contains rollbacks to important domestic programs that play critical roles in the domestic HIV response, including a $63 million cut to the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program, and a $27 million cut to the Supportive Housing Program for Persons with Disabilities.
“This budget is antithetical to ending the AIDS pandemic. At the level of cuts proposed, PEPFAR and the Global Fund would interrupt the provision of life-saving treatment for people living with HIV and scale back essential HIV prevention programs.
“For the first time in seven years, Congress increased global AIDS funding by $50 million in fiscal year 2019. Despite Trump’s apparent indifference to the human costs of his proposed cuts, Congress can offer real hope for achieving the end of AIDS at home and abroad. To do so, they must consider the president’s budget dead on arrival, reject cuts to essential domestic social programs for people living with HIV, and appropriate the necessary increases to address the global AIDS crisis—at least $5.5 billion for PEPFAR and $1.56 Billion for the Global Fund—in fiscal year 2020.”
About Health GAP: Health GAP is an international advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all people living with HIV have access to affordable life sustaining medicines. Our team pairs pragmatic policy work with audacious grassroots action to win equitable access to treatment, care and prevention for people living with and affected by HIV worldwide. We are dedicated to eliminating barriers to universal access to affordable life sustaining medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS as key to a comprehensive strategy to confront and ultimately stop the AIDS pandemic. We believe that the human right to life and to health must prevail over the pharmaceutical industry’s excessive profits and expanding patent rights.