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Are Obama Administration Policies Undermining Global AIDS and Health Responses?
Date:9/17/2009

ening in the Obama Administration. "On my recent trips to African countries that receive AIDS funding from the U.S. government, I've seen first hand that the new direction of the Obama Administration -- most importantly, the scaling back of funding for HIV prevention and treatment -- is having a devastating effect on the morale of people living with HIV/AIDS in those countries," said Zeitz. "They know that the budget and policy decisions currently being made in Washington will translate into needless deaths in their countries."

Zeitz believes that there is an emerging consensus within the global health advocacy community that the Obama Administration has decided to phase out support for PEPFAR, a signature initiative of the Administration of President George W. Bush, and to replace it with a global AIDS spending program that would fall within the scope of Mr. Obama's own signature Global Health Initiative. "While GAA would support an Obama Global Health Initiative that provided increased levels of support for global AIDS and other critical health priorities, including maternal, reproductive and child health, such an Initiative should also build on the positive aspects of the prior U.S. global AIDS investments rather that reversing progress along the way," said Zeitz.

"Regardless of the funding mechanism, backing off of universal access to AIDS treatment and prevention programs will have tragic, fatal consequences for millions of people around the world who are alive today due to ARVs supplied through U.S. programs," said Zeitz. "As a clinician himself, Ambassador Goosby understands these issues, and we call on his natural instincts as a physician and a humanitarian to advocate from within the Obama Administration on behalf of the world's most vulnerable populations," he said.

Congress has an important role to play in assuring continuity in the country's response to global AIDS and health. "We especiall
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SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
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