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AIDS Healthcare Foundation Presses Obama Administration On PEPFAR Funding

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), “[t]he largest global AIDS organization[,] accused the Obama administration and Congress on Friday of falling short on promised funding and oversight in the worldwide fight against the epidemic,” The Hill’s “Healthwatch” blog reports.

During a press conference in Washington, DC, on Friday, where he was joined by health care workers and patients from Uganda, AHF President Michael Weinstein pressed for greater attention to be paid to PEPFAR and expressed his group’s concerns over the numbers of people living with HIV worldwide in jeopardy of losing access to antiretrovirals (ARVs), the blog writes (Pecquet, 7/2). 

Officials in Uganda have been forced to turn some patients away from treatment due to inadequate funding, according to recent media reports (Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy report, 5/10).

The Hill blog reports that AHF proposed “PEPFAR treatment costs be capped at $350 per person per year for treatment, to reach the greatest number of people as efficiently possible” and “administrative overhead be limited for contractors to 10 percent and all indirect costs to 20 percent so more money goes to treatment” (7/2).

VOA News notes that AHF’s call for the U.S. government to “provide more and better funding in the global fight against HIV/AIDS” comes ahead of the International AIDS Conference, to be held July 18-23 in Vienna, Austria. The piece adds more details about the press briefing, including comments from an HIV-positive Ugandan medic, and notes comments made by U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby earlier this year, during which he “called for transitioning the fight against AIDS from an emergency situation to finding a sustainable solution, with more focus on prevention and strengthening health systems,” according to the news service.

The article also examines how some HIV/AIDS advocates worry the U.S. is shifting its focus away from HIV/AIDS to broader global health issues (Colombant, 7/2).