$1 billion U.S. budget cut undermines efforts to end AIDS

This week, the Trump administration proposed enormous cuts to the U.S. global AIDS budget, affecting the critical role PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria play in saving lives and ending the AIDS epidemic.

The proposed cuts, which amount to over one billion dollars ($860 million in bilateral HIV funding from the State Department, CDC and USAID and $425 million from the Global Fund), would put the world off track to reach the global target of $26.2 billion in 2020 to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, and would result in millions of new infections and deaths.

We are now looking to the U.S. Congress to reverse these proposals as per last year’s volte-face, and demonstrate its bold and bipartisan support for a fully funded PEPFAR to finish the job started by President George W. Bush in 2003 when the programme began.

Christine Stegling, executive director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, said: At this critical time in the history of the AIDS epidemic, when we know what to do to end the epidemic once and for all, U.S. leadership is needed more than ever to ensure we keep the momentum of scaling-up high impact prevention and treatment services, more effective ways of service delivery, reaching the most marginalised, and mobilising resources from all donors and governments committed to our shared goal.”

The proposed cuts would seriously undermine our efforts to stem rising infections. This is not the time for the U.S. government to renege on its long-standing financial commitment to end AIDS. As an HIV organisation it is essential we redouble our efforts to advocate for continued funding to meet global targets for HIV prevention and treatment.