Today is the 25th anniversary of World AIDS Day. I care about fighting AIDS because treatment is inexpensive and I believe that no one should have to die because they can’t afford it. HIV treatment is also a method of HIV prevention. A person on treatment is up to 96% less likely to transmit the virus to another person including mother to child.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, also known as PEPFAR, was introduced in 2003 under the Bush Administration. It provides treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS and support for the care of orphans and vulnerable children. PEPFAR is a commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS pandemic through U.S. contributions to UNAIDS and The Global Fund.
The Global Fund supports programs for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria in 150 countries. The United States has contributed over 30% of the funding from the public sector, which makes up 95% of total donations. The country of Rwanda is a contributor and recipient of Global Fund aid – the government contributes what it can to the Global Fund and programs under the Rwanda Ministry of Health apply for funding through the Global Fund.
The President’s FY 2013 budget request for PEPFAR is $546 million less (over 13% of the United States’ plan for 2011-2013) than the FY 2012 request. Because accessible treatment is directly impacting the spread of HIV/AIDS, to decrease spending for the Global Fund now would be to reverse ten years of progress for global health equality. For these reasons, FACE AIDS is in the midst of an advocacy campaign writing letters and making phone calls asking representatives to keep their promises and fully fund PEPFAR and the Global Fund. This video is great example of how advocacy can be fun and informative.
Happy World AIDS Day!