Last month, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) finalized its Country Operational Plans (COPs) for 2018—with a formal signing ceremony on the plans that will direct U.S. funding for HIV in the next fiscal year, starting October 2018. Health GAP and other allies from around the world have been witnessing, interrogating, engaging, and pushing this process to ensure the 2018 COPs invest much more in the most urgent community-level HIV treatment and prevention priorities. Here is a round-up of some of the top takeaways and victories.Read more
By Emily Sanderson, National Organizer, Student Global AIDS Campaign
As this academic year winds down and some members of the Student Global AIDS Campaign receive their degrees, I’d like to look back and highlight some of the work these activists have done this past year to bring the world one step closer to ending AIDS.
In September, they travelled from around the country to Washington D.C. for Fall Uprising, a weekend of intensive skills-building advocacy workshops that culminated in a chance to visit Congressional offices to present the cold, hard facts to both Republicans and Democrats: if Congress doesn’t muster the political will urgently needed to address the AIDS crisis, millions more people will die unnecessarily—not due to complications of HIV, but due to their apathy and inaction.Read more
By: Professor Brook K. Baker, Senior Policy Analyst Health GAP, Northeastern. U. School of Law
President Trump famously declared on the campaign trail that drug companies were “getting away with murder” and that his administration would tackle the problem of extortionate drug pricing. A major plank of his drug-price policy, announced today during a rambling speech, was to identify new targets for Big Pharma’s profiteering – foreign countries – that he alleges unfairly “extort unreasonably low prices from U.S. drug companies” who thereby shift the burden of financing bio-pharmaceutical research and development onto America patients and taxpayers. “The U.S. pays more to subsidize the enormous cost of research and development.” What costs of few dollars in a foreign country costs hundreds in the United States.Read more
Lies, Distortions, and False Promises: The U.S. Position on Compulsory Licenses in the 2018 Special 301 Report
By Brook Baker, Senior Policy Analyst Health GAP
Every year since the late 1980s, the U.S. has published a Special 301 Watchlist targeting countries that U.S. intellectual property-based industries, like Big Pharma, complain about. Once again the U.S. is unbelievably duplicitous in its 2018 Special 301 Report on permissible uses of compulsory and government-use licenses by its trading partners, including most recently Colombia and Malaysia where it is announcing out-of-cycle reviews.Read more
Higher Stakes and a Bigger Impact for People Living with HIV: a Report Back from 2018 PEPFAR Country Operational Planning
Over the last two weeks, teams from 23 countries converged in Johannesburg, South Africa for regional planning meetings to plan how PEPFAR funding will be spent in October 2018-September 2019—programming nearly $4 billion toward the HIV response in these countries.
Health GAP together with AIDS activists and civil society representatives from around the world also joined these meetings—which were restructured this year thanks to activist pressure. Together we succeeded in harnessing this opportunity to win critical and exciting changes toward a more ambitious, accountable and effective HIV response.
We have stepped up our efforts year after year, with greater coordination, expanding networks, and sharper advocacy skills, pushing for bolder targets and strategies in order to hold PEPFAR accountable and have a more powerful impact. This work is even more vital at a time of limited resources and when evidence-based strategies are under more pressure than ever.
As a result of the strategic accountability work of global and local civil society in response to this new process, significant new PEPFAR funding will move into high-impact programs to address the priorities and needs of people living with and affected by HIV in the 2018 Country Operational Plans (COPs).Read more