AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global HIV/AIDS organization, praised today the United States government for recently approving $3.5 billion in new appropriations for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and $250 million for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) as an expression of American commitment to global public health solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New funding for the Global Fund and PEPFAR will help support the pandemic response in developing countries and sustain existing HIV/AIDS treatment programs which have been impacted by the strain on healthcare systems due to COVID-19. The Global Fund and PEPFAR support life-saving antiretroviral treatment for approximately 20 million people living with HIV around the world, and since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, both have stepped up efforts to deliver COVID-19 protective equipment, diagnostics, and medicines in low- and middle-income countries.
“We thank the Biden administration and Congress for taking a bold and timely step to shore up the global response to the dual pandemics of HIV and COVID-19, as well as to strengthen programs directed at TB and malaria – during these unprecedented times, leadership and cooperation at the international level are indispensable to global public health, stability and a return to economic growth,” said AHF National Director of Advocacy John Hassell. “We hope this commitment will serve as an example to other nations and a catalyst for resolving other serious challenges holding back the global COVID-19 response, such as vaccine nationalism, hoarding, and restrictive patents.”
For close to a year, AHF advocates have been engaged in grassroots efforts on social media, calling for additional funding to support the Global Fund while endorsing and participating in similar efforts led by other organizations. The new funding to the Global Fund and PEPFAR is part of a nearly $11 billion global COVID-19 response package that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act and builds on the US commitment of $4 billion to COVAX, an initiative intended to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.