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White House, Congress Should Increase Funding For PEPFAR, Global Fund To Achieve ‘AIDS-Free Generation’

“The Blueprint for an AIDS-Free Generation released by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in November 2012 makes a bold declaration: We are at a tipping point in this most devastating pandemic of our time,” Chris Collins, vice president and director of public policy at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. This report “deserves to be read and acted on — and funded,” he continues, adding, “The Blueprint could be a road map for accelerating the end of the global AIDS epidemic. Or it could be a political document that showed us what could have been accomplished, while instead we resigned ourselves to the devastation of AIDS for decades to come.”

“The outcome will be determined by the actions of Congress and the White House in the coming weeks,” as budget negotiations continue, Collins writes, adding, “The strategic vision of the Blueprint cannot survive a major cut to PEPFAR.” He says, “With full implementation of the Blueprint, [President Obama] can be the president who drove AIDS toward its end,” and “[l]eadership is needed from Congress, too.” Collins writes, “[W]e must act on the science, and on our humanitarian and diplomatic interests. The president’s fiscal year 2014 budget should request increased funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria], along with increased investments in research and domestic AIDS programming.” He concludes, “Mr. President and members of Congress, we have the plan to end AIDS. Now is the time to fund it” (1/11).