Health Experts Seek More Funds for PEPFAR

Health experts want more funding for the U.S. PEPFAR program, which is spearheaded by U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby. Photo by: Eric Bridiers / US Mission Geneva / CC BY 2.0 US Mission GenevaCC BY 2.0

The U.S. should expand its global health portfolio and fully support the Lantos-Hyde Act by allocating more funds to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, nearly 300 of the leading disease experts in the U.S. said. In a letter to the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs of the House Appropriations Committee, the health experts said the U.S. budget request for global AIDS and tuberculosis programs is inadequate.

The current funding request for PEPFAR, bilateral AIDS and TB programs, and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria offers only a 2.2 percent increase from the previous budget.

“This funding level will hamper our efforts to scale up treatment and shortchange vital initiatives to increase access to prevention of mother‐to‐child transmission programs, to ramp up male circumcision, and to train desperately needed new health care workers,” the letter states.

Nevertheless, the health experts are seeking full support for the requested budget.

“A crisis in access to HIV treatment is brewing again in Africa as a result of the worldwide recession, flat funding for PEPFAR, and a shortfall in funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. We urge you to support an appropriation in fiscal year 2011 for bilateral AIDS, tuberculosis and the Global Fund that allows for significant scale‐up of HIV prevention and treatment and TB control,” they said in the letter obtained by Science Speaks.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.