Tell Congress to Increase Funding for Life-Saving HIV Programs Around the Globe and Support Level Funding for Tuberculosis
It’s no secret our elected officials haven't been doing enough to address the global AIDS crisis. There has been no new funding from the U.S. for addressing the global HIV epidemic since 2011.
This year, in part because of your activism, there is a proposal from Senator Leahy to add $50 million to PEPFAR--the first proposed funding increase in 7 years. Now we need all hands on deck to make sure this increase passes when the Senate votes on the FY 2019 budget either on or before December 7th.
Will you make phone calls today to the offices of Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and Lindsey Graham (SC)? Both are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and have the power to make sure this $50 million proposed increase becomes a reality. Not only are we asking about increases in funding for global AIDS programs, but asking them to maintain current funding to treat and prevent the number one killer of people living with HIV: Tuberculosis.
If you need a script, use this:
“Hi my name is _________ and I’m concerned about funding for global HIV and TB. I’m calling to ask if Senator ______ will support the proposed PEPFAR funding level in the Senate, which is an additional $50m, and support $302 million for the USAID TB program, as approved by the House Appropriations Committee. Do you know the Senator’s position on this?”
If staffers ask why this matters or want to see more information, please see any of the resources linked here about global HIV and TB funding.
After you call, let us know here so we can measure our impact. And then, will you ask three friends to make these calls, too?
Why should you call?
Since 2001, the U.S. has been a leader in funding the global AIDS response. It is the biggest donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and home to the largest fund in history for a single disease: the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Political leadership from the U.S. through these two programs have made the end of the AIDS pandemic possible in the foreseeable future. However, the U.S. has recently failed to prioritize funding levels for PEPFAR and the Global Fund. Research from Kaiser Family Foundation shows these programs have been essentially flat-funded since 2010.
In recent years, there have been major scientific advancements within the HIV community, and new evidence shows that starting people on treatment upon diagnosis leads to considerably better outcomes. Research has also shown that when people are on treatment and have sustained viral suppression, they cannot transmit HIV.
In the absence of funding increases to PEPFAR and the Global Fund, the potential of these scientific breakthroughs has not been fully realized, at the cost of millions of human lives. According to UNAIDS, a $7.2 billion funding gap per year must be filled in order to achieve the global goal of ending AIDS as a global public health threat by 2030. Millions of lives depend on Congress to increase its investment in global health and the HIV response.