With hearings and debates scheduled in Congress in the coming weeks global AIDS funding is in the news once again. ?Health Action AIDS Campaign Director Pat Daoust responded to recent coverage in the Boston Globe with a hard-hitting letter to the editor. She strongly rebuts the notion that "Africa is covered in HIV/AIDS money:"
[T]hey are turning away patients in need of treatment because of stagnating funding levels. With drug stocks dwindling, they run the very real risk of returning to the days when one member of a family received treatment as their spouses and children left clinics empty-handed and were left to die.
One of PHR's partners on the ground, HIV/AIDS pioneer Peter Mugyeni, MD, has already been forced to make cuts in his PEPFAR funded program. Dr. Mugyenyi has a dire forecast of what's to come if the US does not fulfill its commitments.It has never been a question of funding HIV/AIDS programs? OR other global health initiatives, it is imperative we do both. Pat concludes:
[W]e must remember that the United States has the resources and the responsibility to keep its promise to scaling up HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs while at the same time strengthening its commitment to other critical global health initiatives. The nation's leaders must commit to doing both.
PHR is mobilizing to pressure Congress and President Obama to keep their commitments to fight AIDS. Please join us by meeting with your Senator during the July 4th recess when they will be in your home state. We can help you through the process of scheduling and will provide training ?and talking points for the meeting. So far we are workign to schedule meetings with 8 key Senators, many of whom PHR advocates like you met with during the Global AIDS Month of Action. Contact Sarah Kalloch, Director of Outreach, at skalloch [at] phrusa [dot] org to find out how.