FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joana Casas, Program Communications Manager
amfAR Warns of Slowdown in Global AIDS Response
Global Fund and major domestic AIDS programs protected in budget proposal,
but PEPFAR funding flat after years of cuts
NEW YORK, March 5, 2014 – amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Wednesday welcomed the protection of the Administration’s Global Fund commitment and critical domestic AIDS initiatives in President Obama’s proposed FY2015 budget, but raised serious concern that flat-funding the global AIDS response after years of cutbacks will undermine the strong gains against HIV/AIDS that U.S. leadership has helped foster around the world.
“We have reached a remarkable point in the fight against HIV/AIDS where we have the tools to make dramatic strides in the U.S. and globally,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “But we need to continue investing in proven and effective HIV prevention and treatment strategies, as well as HIV cure and vaccine research that will ultimately bring this epidemic to an end.”
Bilateral HIV funding through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) would remain at $4.35 billion, the same amount allocated for the program last year. Since FY2010, over $600 million has been cut from the PEPFAR bilateral budget. A recent analysis by amfAR and HealthGAP estimates that the pace of HIV treatment scale-up through PEPFAR will slow considerably unless investments in treatment are increased.
The proposed budget maintains the Administration’s commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at $1.35 billion, with a recommended additional $300 million for the U.S. Global Fund contribution if more pledges from other nations come in.
Domestically, the budget proposes continued funding for several programs that will expand access to HIV prevention and treatment activities, supporting the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This includes $2.3 billion for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, $1.1 billion for HIV-related programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than $3 billion for HIV/AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health. The budget also reaffirms evidence-based policy by proposing that local and state decision makers could elect to use federal funds for syringe services programs.
“The Administration’s commitment to the Global Fund is critically important, but we are deeply concerned that the stagnant funding proposed for PEPFAR will seriously hamper the pace of scaling up proven effective interventions, including HIV treatment,” said Chris Collins, amfAR vice president and director of public policy. “We urge Congress to restore funds that have been cut from PEPFAR over the last several years in order to make it possible to achieve the President’s goal of an AIDS-free generation.”
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $388 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.
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