May 13 2008
Patients, Doctors, Activists and Senators Agree: Prioritize Life-saving HIV/AIDS Treatment
WASHINGTON D.C., May 12, 2008--A delegation of doctors and AIDS treatment clients who have traveled to Washington from Africa to speak out firsthand about the importance of lifesaving antiretroviral AIDS treatment will join Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., (R-OK) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and others at a press conference Tuesday, May 13th, (12:00 noon, Indian Affairs Hearing Room, Russell Office Building, Room 485) to call for the preservation of a treatment funding priority in PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). PEPFAR is the landmark legislation spearheaded by President Bush that led to the creation of the successful US global AIDS program.
The current PEPFAR program, set to expire at the end of the year, requires that a minimum of 55% of the funds be spent on care and treatment, a provision that AHF believes has been key to PEPFAR’s success. However, despite a tripling of funds to $50 billion, the reauthorization bills under consideration in Congress, have unfortunately removed a requirement that any money be spent on treatment. The Senators will announce their intention to press for the preservation of the requirement that treatment remain a priority of PEPFAR, and will seek to restore a minimum funding floor for treatment to the bill. The group will also call for a significant increase in PEPFAR’s treatment goals—up only 50% in the re-authorization despite a 330% increase in overall PEPFAR funding.
“The success of the PEPFAR program is largely due directly to the requirement that most of the money be spent on lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment. To eliminate that provision from the reauthorization is to undermine what has been nothing less than a miracle-delivery system. Any HIV/AIDS bill that moves through the Congress must prioritize saving lives,” said Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. Click here to continue reading...
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