We now know we could end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, if we choose to. New evidence shows that starting HIV treatment immediately upon diagnosis is the most effective ways to prevent HIV transmission in communities. In order to get ahead of the epidemic, we need to double the number of people in treatment from 15 million to 30 million by 2020. What we do in the next 4 years will set the course to either end AIDS or allow the epidemic to continue spreading.
This goal will only be met if the human right to access to treatment immediately upon diagnosis is realized. However, a report from Health GAP and partners around the world, "Towards Treatment on Demand for All" shows that fewer than 1 in 10 people with HIV live in a country where treatment is provided to everyone immediately upon diagnosis. We have the science, we have the ethical imperative, and we have the ability to provide treatment on demand for all.
To achieve this, we need a 7% increase in the US global AIDS funding for each of the next four years.
Since 2010, the US budget for global AIDS has declined hundreds of millions of dollars. Without increasing funding from the US, and other donor countries, scaling up treatment we will fall behind and lose the chance to get ahead of the epidemic.
HOW DO WE FUND THE FIGHT?
The American people support the fight against global AIDS primarily through two funding mechanisms, PEPFAR and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (or ‘the Global Fund’ or ‘GFATM’). There are also smaller amounts for other agencies including the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, but our advocacy focuses on the PEPFAR bilateral programs and the Global Fund, our best and biggest tools.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created in 2003 by President Bush after an activist campaign to win a multi-year commitment to fund global AIDS programs. Through PEPFAR, the American people support the fight against global AIDS through bilateral and regional programs in 65 countries. As a result of this commitment, PEPFAR is supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for 9.5 million men, women, and children (of which, 5.7 million are receiving direct support and an additional 3.8 million are benefiting from essential technical support to partner countries).
Health GAP works with developing country activists to identify bottlenecks to effective use of PEPFAR funds or to highlight detrimental effects of reduced funding at the local level. We then pressure U.S. elected officials and the Administration to increase support and work to undo bottlenecks. Health GAP also works to identify problems with the Country Operational Plans that provide guidance to countries on how to use PEPFAR funds.
The US allocated $4.32 billion for PEPFAR bilateral programs for 2016. We are asking for an increase to $4.845 billion for 2017, and an additional 7% annually through 2020.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria is a partnership founded in 2002 between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities. It is a multilateral program, with funding received from more than one donor, and currently supplies about $4 billion per year. The Global Fund supplies commodities and technical assistance via country grants for a broad network of health and development organizations on the ground.
Health GAP works with AIDS and health activists in developing countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and others to wage campaigns that pressure their governments to strengthen proposals to the Global Fund, use the money more efficiently and increase civil society participation. In addition, we work on campaigns to increase local government investment in the fight against AIDS.
The Global Fund is entering its replenishment cycle in 2016, which will determine the level of funding the Global Fund can expect for the next 3 years. The U.S. is the largest donor to the Global Fund, supporting one third of the total, and allocated $1.35 billion for the Global Fund for 2016. We are asking that the US continues its one third commitment, and pledge one third of 13.5 billion over the next 3 years.
HOW DO WE WIN?
President Obama already released his final budget request on February 9, 2016 and he requested only flat-funding for PEPFAR and Global Fund. Congress actually makes the budget, and Global AIDS funding is determined by the State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) appropriations sub-committees in both the House and Senate, and there are various key times when you should advocate to have your Congress people weigh in to ask for:
- PEPFAR - $4.845 billion in FY 17 (increase of $525 million)
- Global Fund - $1.5 billion in FY 17 (a commitment to one third of $13.5 billion for the 3 year cycle for a 3 year total of $4.5b)
For both funding streams, Health GAP is constantly working with grassroots AIDS activists and students around the United States to provide constant pressure to elected officials who determine the funding amounts from the U.S. for both PEPFAR and the Global Fund.To get involved in Health GAP's Fund the Fight campaign, please sign up on our Stay Connected page, use the hashtag #Vote2EndAIDS, and feel free to contact the Health GAP staff working on the budget campaign:
- Hilary McQuie (firstname.lastname@example.org) Washington, DC
- Emily Sanderson (email@example.com) New York
- Asia Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Uganda and Geneva
DOWNLOAD & PRINT OUR 'Fund the Fight' Lobbying Kit
Go here to see the Dear Colleague letter for FY 17