Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, CA) led 38 other lawmakers in letter to President Obama asking him to set a new goal of 12 million people on AIDS treatment globally by 2016 via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); AHF supported Coburn & Lee’s efforts, lobbying other lawmakers to sign on and support the call
Plea to Obama comes before the upcoming Fourth Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria meeting set for December 3rd in Washington
WASHINGTON (November 14, 2013)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today applauded a Congressional call on President Barack Obama to double the number of people on lifesaving AIDS treatment via PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2016. Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, CA) led a bipartisan effort joined by 38 other lawmakers from both houses of Congress and both sides of the aisle asking the President to set a new goal of 12 million people on AIDS treatment globally by 2016. The plea came in a joint letter dated November 13th to President Obama signed by the 40 legislators. The plea also comes in anticipation of the 25th observation of World AIDS Day (December 1st) and prior to the upcoming meeting for the Fourth Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria Conference set for December 3rd in Washington.
“At the outset, AIDS Healthcare Foundation strongly supported Senator Coburn and Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s efforts to expand the number of people on treatment through PEPFAR. We also lobbied other lawmakers in Congress to sign on and support this call to persuade President Obama to set a new goal of 12 million people on AIDS treatment globally by 2016,” said Tom Myers, General Counsel and Chief of Public Affairs for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Sadly, the President has missed several previous opportunities to act meaningfully on global AIDS. We thank Senator Coburn and Congresswoman Lee for their leadership on this, as well as other members of Congress who lent their support. We also urge President Obama to honor this Congressional request and adopt these new goals as his—and PEPFAR’s—own.”
In June 2013, at a celebration honoring the 10th anniversary of PEPFAR, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the number of people on treatment supported by PEPFAR had risen to six million, and that globally, one million babies had been born HIV-free thanks to PEPFAR-supported efforts.
In their letter to Obama, lawmakers noted, “Congress has an important role to play in continuing to support and shape the global AIDS response. We stand ready to support your efforts and look forward to working with you to build on the success of PEPFAR and to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
PEPFAR is the successful US global AIDS program that President George W. Bush first proposed in his 2003 State of the Union address.