U.S. Congress Should Protect Progress Made In Global AIDS Response By Maintaining Funding

The Hill: It’s up to Congress to protect millions of people living with HIV around the world
Jamila Headley, managing director of the Health Global Access Project and Aspen New Voices fellow

“…President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal imperils the progress made over 13 years of PEPFAR and the Global Fund. The budget outline made public on [February 27] could cut foreign assistance spending by as much as 37 percent — meaning fewer people on HIV treatment, more preventable deaths, and greater instability around the world. The value and success of the U.S. government’s investments in the AIDS response are widely recognized by citizens and political leaders alike. A 2015 poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that there is strong popular support for these programs, with seven in 10 Americans believing that U.S. investment in global health was in their interest. Even Vice President Mike Pence, President Trump, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have publicly voiced their support for PEPFAR and the Global Fund. … The president’s budget could spell the reversal of over a decade of progress and put the world on track for a disastrous end to what has been an incredible story of transformation in the global AIDS response. The good news is that Congress has the ultimate power to set the budget. … President Trump just threw down the gauntlet. It is up to the House and Senate to defend America’s proud legacy — and the lives of millions of people living abroad” (3/6).