Media Examine GHI, U.S. HIV/AIDS Funding

PBS’ NewsHour’s “The Rundown” blog examines the recent naming of eight countries to receive additional technical and management resources under President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI).

Last Friday, the administration announced that Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Rwanda will serve as “GHI Plus” countries “to help determine how the GHI is implemented throughout the 80 countries where the U.S. is involved in global health work,” according to the blog. USAID’s Amie Batson indicated that the countries “were chosen for geographic diversity, local government interest and because of promising existing initiatives on the ground,” the NewsHour reports.

The article includes comments that U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby made to the NewsHour earlier this year about the aims of the GHI.  In addition, Global AIDS Alliance Executive Director Paul Zeitz and Uganda AIDS Commission Director David Apuuli discuss the impact of scaled-back budget increases for PEPFAR (Miller, 6/18).

In related news, CNN reports on PEPFARs funding and Obama’s requested budget increase this year for “just over two percent – the smallest rise since [PEPFAR’s] inception.” The article looks at how flat-lined budgets are impacting HIV programs in Uganda, forcing new patients in need of antiretrovirals (ARVs) onto waiting lists.

According to CNN, the “U.S. government acknowledges that the global financial crisis has hurt funding prospects, but also points out the Obama administration’s new $63 billion dollar global health initiative spreads U.S. support to more diseases.”

The article looks at how PEPFAR transformed the lives of many HIV-positive people in Uganda and notes that the U.S. has called upon the country’s government to ramp up funding for HIV/AIDS treatment programs. The piece includes comments by Goosby; Apuuli; Peter Mugyenyi, who runs the Joint Clinical Research Center in Kampala, Uganda; and a patient in need of treatment (McKenzie/Swails, 6/21).

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