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When the HIV/AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s, AIDS was a death sentence. Today the success of programs like PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have transformed the face of the epidemic. More background on these programs available here.
Since 2000, the U.S. has helped bring about almost unthinkable change in the fight to end AIDS. New infections have declined 35%, the cost of antiretroviral medicines have been lowered to just 1% of what they had cost, and studies have confirmed that treatment is prevention - transmission of the virus can be virtually eliminated when viral suppression is achieved through treatment.
Yet in 2014, due to the cumulative impact of funding cuts since 2010, we saw steep declines in the number of new treatment enrollments along with drop-offs in core prevention interventions worldwide. PEPFAR was forced to cut programs in hard-hit areas.
But there is hope. UNAIDS released a report in July 2015 that showed a "Fast-Track" plan of front-loading investments in global AIDS over the next 5 years is critical to ending the epidemic. By meeting the UNAIDS Fast-Track funding targets by 2020, we can reduce HIV infections by 89% and AIDS-related deaths by 81% by 2030.
For fighting tuberculosis, which is the leading global infectious diesease killer, resulting in 4,000 deaths per day, the white house released a "National Action Plan on Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis," which aims to provide treatment to 560,000 people in 10 priority countries. With the plan in place, we need Congress to fund the program.
That's why we're asking our Representatives and Senators to make the Global Fund, PEPFAR, and Tuberculosis funding a priority for our Fiscal Year 2017 budget.