FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from Friends of the Global Fight President Deborah Derrick
Washington, D.C., November 20, 2013 — Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is pleased that the U.S. Congress continued its extraordinary track record of bipartisan support for the fight for better health worldwide. The swift and uncontroversial passage of the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act — which extends expiring oversight provisions of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — reaffirms the United States’ commitment to fighting the global AIDS epidemic and will help to ensure the best use of these investments. Most important, the bill will strengthen the U.S. government’s global health response in the coming years.
The passage of this bill is especially well-timed as the international community prepares for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. This momentum will continue in the days that follow, as leaders in this fight assemble in Washington, D.C., to support the Fourth Voluntary Replenishment conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Over the past decade, PEPFAR and the Global Fund have worked in lockstep as the leading global financiers of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Together, they account for more than 90 percent of donor funding for HIV control in countries with the highest disease burden and least resources.
PEPFAR programs have provided antiretroviral treatment to more than 5.1 million people and supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 46.5 million. Worldwide efforts have reduced HIV incidence by 33 percent since 2001 and have led 13 countries to a programmatic tipping point, where the increase in the number of people receiving treatment exceeds the number of new infections. Better epidemiological data, scientific advances and implementation experience have put an AIDS-free generation within reach; this would not have been possible without U.S. leadership through PEPFAR and strong financial contributions to the Global Fund.
As we reflect on the progress we have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the past 10 years, it is clear that bilateral and multilateral health investments, together, have helped many countries transition from crisis response to sustainability. Continued U.S. leadership — demonstrated by not only the actions of Congress, but also President Obama’s repeated public call for an AIDS-free generation — is critical to mobilizing support from other countries and ensuring the Global Fund has the resources necessary to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA
Friends of the Global Fight works to end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We educate, engage and mobilize U.S. decision makers to support the Global Fund, the world’s largest public health financier. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.theglobalfight.org.