A Moment of Reckoning for U.S. Leadership on Global HIV
June 21, 2017
The Trump administration’s proposed $2 billion-plus in cuts to global health in its FY 2018 budget includes $1.1 billion from international HIV/AIDS programs. This 18 percent reduction to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its companion financing institution, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, would put millions of lives at risk and raise the possibility that the pandemic will reignite, threatening U.S. and global health security.
Over the past 15 years, U.S. leadership on global HIV/AIDS has generated remarkable achievements. U.S. investments are delivering life-sustaining treatment to 11.5 million people living with HIV and have brought at least three low-income countries with high HIV burdens close to epidemic control.
PEPFAR has doubled the number of people receiving treatment under flatlined funding over the past five years, but its capacity to continue to do so without major trade-offs is limited. With sufficient resources, PEPFAR can accelerate prevention and treatment efforts even further.
However, U.S. leadership on HIV/AIDS is in jeopardy. There is momentum to achieve epidemic control, but only with sustained funding levels, which may or may not be possible. It is critically important to put this moment in context, be realistic, and lay out a constructive, forward-looking strategy.
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