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Budget: Obama Retreats on Global AIDS, Says AHF
Date:5/7/2009

As a Senator Last Year, Obama Voted for $9.6 Billion Annually in Funding for George Bush's Lifesaving Global AIDS Program; Now, President Proposes Only $6.6 Billion in FY'10 Budget for PEPFAR

Obama Budget Calls for $51B for PEPFAR Over Six Years; Congress Voted for $48B Over Five Years

WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS organization in the US, which currently provides medical care and services to more than 100,000 individuals in 21 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia, today chided President Barack Obama for retreating on his commitment to global AIDS. In his Fiscal Year 2010 Budget, released earlier today, the President proposes only $6.6 billion allocated for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for 2010 while just last year as a Senator, Obama voted for $9.6 billion in annual funding for the landmark global AIDS program created by President George W. Bush.

"It is perplexing that as a Senator, Barack Obama voted for $3 billion more in annual funding for the global fight against AIDS, than he is now -- as leader of the free world -- proposing in his 2010 budget," said AHF President Michael Weinstein. "Under President Bush, the last Congress, including then-Senator Obama, allocated $48 billion for PEPFAR over the next five years; roughly $9.6 billion annually. Obama now proposes $51 billion in global AIDS funding; however, the money is to be spread over six years, dropping the amount to just $6.6 billion annually. We have previously expressed our concern and disappointment over President Obama's inaction on HIV/AIDS issues throughout his first hundred days in office. It is disheartening to see President Obama retreat from his Senatorial commitment on global AIDS funding."

PEPFAR was the result of President Bush's groundbreaking 2003 State of the Union pledge to bring two million HIV positive Africans and others into treatment and prevent seven million new HIV infections via a five-year, $15 billion US-funded program. It currently operates in 15 focus countries and claims to support antiretroviral treatment for 1.4 million people worldwide. In 2008, when Congress reauthorized PEPFAR, it increased the number of focus countries and upped the funding to $48 billion for the next five years.

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the nation's largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 100,000 individuals in 21 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org


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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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