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GAA Applauds Global Fund's Decision to Accelerate Support for Treatment Strategies to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
Date:5/6/2009

"The Global Fund now has within its reach the potential to end pediatric AIDS."

WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At its spring meeting in Geneva, the Board of Directors of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), today agreed to enhance the Fund's response to HIV/AIDS by accelerating its support for treatment strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), thereby opening the door to strategies and programs that will end pediatric AIDS.

In making this decision, the Global Fund recognized that preventing HIV-positive mothers from dying and babies from being infected with HIV is crucial to achieving the goals of universal access to care and treatment, and an HIV/AIDS-free generation.

To underscore the urgency of this goal, the Global Fund has said it is willing to consider reprogramming existing grants it has made, so that efforts to prevent HIV infection and to improve the health of HIV-infected pregnant women and children through effective PMTCT and pediatric HIV care and treatment programs could be accelerated.

"We applaud the Global Fund's decision to accelerate support for treatment strategies around PMTCT, and to allow for flexibility in existing grants," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance (GAA), which is launching its own Campaign to End Pediatric AIDS in seven sub-Saharan African countries later this month.

"We are thrilled that the Global Fund is now opening the door to investing more in programs that integrate sexual and reproductive health services with HIV services, particularly because of the impact on pediatric AIDS prevention and treatment that such investments will produce. But we are also mindful of the current $5 Billion funding gap that exists within the Global Fund. The time has come for the developed countries, most importantly the U.S., to step up and make fair-share contributions to the Global Fund. To do so, President Obama would have to commit $2.7 Billion annually to the Global Fund, but in the global health budget released yesterday [May 5] by the White House, it is clear that he is sadly turning his back on that responsibility," said Zeitz.

"This decision in Geneva today will translate into a renewal of hope for families in Africa and in other far-away places in the world which are being devastated by the global AIDS epidemic. The Global Fund now has within its reach the potential to end pediatric AIDS," said Zeitz.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR THIS STORY:

GAA fact sheets and other materials on SRH/HIV http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/index.php/355

GAA's Campaign to End Pediatric AIDS (CEPA) http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/index.php/1032


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SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
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