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Bush AIDS Legacy at Risk, Says AHF
Date:2/16/2008

President Praised for Creating PEPFAR; However, Proposed Changes in

Priorities Cut Heart from Lifesaving Effort

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As President Bush begins a five-country tour of Africa to visit and highlight programs funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the five year-old US global AIDS program which Congress created at his request, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) (http://www.aidshealth.org) today cautioned the President that his legacy as a leader in the global fight against HIV and AIDS is at risk due to proposed changes in the priorities of PEPFAR that essentially cut the heart out of this lifesaving AIDS care and treatment program. PEPFAR is currently up for reauthorization by Congress. The bill, which will be marked up by the Committee on Foreign Relations next week, eliminates a requirement that 55% of the funding be spent on providing AIDS medical care.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080216/CLSA002 )

"AHF welcomes the renewal of this landmark global AIDS program -- widely expected to be among the President's most lasting and favorable legacies -- however, we are concerned that the legislation to reauthorize PEPFAR eliminates the requirement that a majority of funding be spent on providing lifesaving AIDS medical care," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "In fact, while the proposed bill more than triples the amount of money available, it only calls for PEPFAR to support increasing the number of people on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment by half, and makes no provision for HIV testing in order to locate those with the virus and get them into treatment. With over 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, these changes in PEPFAR's priorities will set back efforts to contr
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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