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Bush to Sign AIDS Bill Today, but Funding Still Missing
Date:7/30/2008

AIDS, TB and malaria programs at a level far below that suggested by the bill. The 2009 budget may not be finalized until next February, but Congress is likely to base any decision then what was approved earlier in committee.

The appropriations committees approved only very small increases for TB and malaria for 2009, and they provided nothing specific for health system strengthening. The committees also provided essentially no increase for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, even though it is a crucial means of leveraging more money from non-US donors.

This week the UN released a new report which shows that the countries hardest hit by AIDS are spending more of their own money to combat the problem. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have increased their own domestic, public spending on AIDS by 25% in the last two years. While this increase is very welcome, the UN states there is still a shortfall of $8.1 billion in funding for HIV/AIDS programs.

The UN report also states the world is still facing 7500 new HIV infections each day. Yet, with determined efforts, programs can make a real difference in people's lives. For instance, from 2005 to 2007, the number of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving medication to stop transmission of the virus to their newborns increased significantly, from 14% to 33%. The number of new HIV infections among children dropped by 40,000, from 410,000 to 370,000.

"That means at least 40,000 children have been saved from HIV/AIDS, and it is truly excellent news," stated Zeitz. "The global effort to scale up programs is saving lives and building hope. This is not the time to slow down."

At the upcoming International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, Global AIDS Alliance will be presenting a new campaign to end HIV infection in children. GAA will also host a press conference on ending violence against women and children in Africa. More info on these events can be found here:


SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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