The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has maintained insufficient flat funding levels for global AIDS in their appropriations bill for FY 2017. This move by congressional legislators puts the historic opportunity to end the AIDS pandemic at stake.
The House Appropriations Committee voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2017 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill on July 12, 2016. The bill maintains the flat funded levels from FY 2016, and provides no increases for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
“Health Global Access Project challenges the Committee for flat-lining support of global AIDS prevention and treatment programs,” commented Hilary McQuie, US government policy director of Health GAP. “We are very disappointed that funds remain at levels hundreds of millions of dollars less than allocated in prior years, and $500 million below what is needed this year to begin doubling the scale-up to end the pandemic. We will continue to advocate for the funds needed to achieve established treatment and prevention goals and save the millions of lives that will be lost if flat-funding continues, and call on all members of Congress to allocate additional funding before the 2017 budget is complete.”
The House bill maintains $4.32 billion for PEPFAR bilateral programs for 2017. PEPFAR is supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for 9.5 million men, women, and children. In order the end the epidemic by 2030, the UN AIDS and WHO goal, the number of people directly supported by PEPFAR must nearly double in the next five years, to reach 30 million people living with HIV with treatment by 2020. Health GAP estimates this can be achieved with an additional short term investment of $2 billion more by 2020, reached by an increase of $500 billion each year for the next 4 years. Without this increase and comparable increases from countries and other donors, the UN estimates there will be 10.8 additional AIDS deaths by 2030, and 17.6 million new HIV infections.