First Look at Trump’s FY18 Budget Shows Plan to Slash Global AIDS Programs

Contrary to the “Skinny Budget,” Latest Information Shows the Administration’s Planned Attack on Life-Saving HIV Programs 

April 26, 2017
Contact: Jessica Bassett, [email protected], 518-593-7628  

A recently leaked draft of President Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), published by Foreign Policy  shows the administration plans deep cuts to the President’s Emergency Program For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other critical programs that provide condoms and conduct HIV research. 

An initial analysis of the draft budget finds: 

  • An approximate 10% cut to PEPFAR bilateral programs; 
  • $270 million in cuts to the Global Fund, a 20% reduction;
  • Millions of dollars in cuts to life-saving tuberculosis programs, the leading killer of people living with HIV;
  • Elimination of all funding for international HIV vaccine and microbicide research;
  • Elimination of the “commodities fund,” which procures condoms for millions of people to prevent the spread of HIV;
  • Cuts to maternal and child health, sexual health and family planning, and core development programs like girls’ education  initiatives that save lives and help control the HIV pandemic.

“Slashing funding for HIV treatment and prevention programs puts millions of lives at risk,” said Hilary McQuie, Director of U.S. Policy and Grassroots Mobilization at the Health Global Access Project (GAP). “It is deadly, short-sighted and costly, throwing away years of investment. Slashing funding just as we are beginning to get control of the global AIDS pandemic will result in a resurgence at the very time we could be on the cusp of an AIDS-free generation.” 

This information comes on the heels of the announcement that the Global Gag Rule will extend to PEPFAR and other global health programs – an unprecedented expansion of this restrictive policy that will have a chilling effect on HIV service providers. Expanding the Global Gag Rule to include PEPFAR runs counter to the administration’s stated goals on HIV. It will reduce the standard of sexual and reproductive care provided to women living with and women at risk for HIV and risks undoing years of progress on women’s health in PEPFAR countries.

“Last week, hundreds of constituents concerned about global AIDS called, protested, and met with their members of Congress to demand they oppose efforts to slow down or cap enrollment of people on life-saving HIV treatment and support efforts to speed up the global HIV response,” said Emily Sanderson, National Organizer for the Student Global AIDS Campaign and Health GAP. “Representatives have told constituents over and over again that they make the budget, not the President, and we expect them to do better than the White House when it comes to global AIDS.”

“We call on Congress to reject Trump’s effort to slash and burn the global health budgets — and join Senator Graham in declaring the budget ‘dead on arrival,’” continued McQuie.

Health GAP will produce a full analysis of the White House budget when it is released in early May.

Click here for an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

About Health GAP:

Health GAP is an international advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all people living with HIV have access to affordable life sustaining medicines. Our team pairs pragmatic policy work with audacious grassroots action to win equitable access to treatment, care and prevention for people living with and affected by HIV worldwide. We are dedicated to eliminating barriers to universal access to affordable life sustaining medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS as key to a comprehensive strategy to confront and ultimately stop the AIDS pandemic. We believe that the human right to life and to health must prevail over the pharmaceutical industry's excessive profits and expanding patent rights.