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Senate Passes Landmark AIDS, TB and Malaria Bill, Says Global AIDS Alliance
Date:7/16/2008

er five years would already have been "a big change in the amount of money available." In fact, because the Congress is now providing $6 billion a year for these programs, a level of $30 billion would have kept funding at the current level for the next five years.

Flat-funding would have made impossible significant new funding to stop tuberculosis, which is a global threat, including to Americans. In fact, much of the increased funding in the bill is not for the AIDS program, but rather for TB and malaria, which together kill about 7,000 people each day.

Kyl also decried the bill's effort to address nutrition, the inheritance rights of women and orphaned children and women's lack of economic opportunities. However, these issues are central to an effective and realistic approach to HIV/AIDS.

"Stopping AIDS is more complicated that handing out medication and telling people to abstain," said Rev. Mpho Tutu, Chair of the Board of the Global AIDS Alliance. "With this bill, the U.S. is starting to address the complexity of these related diseases, and that will make U.S. efforts much more cost-effective and sustainable," said Tutu.

"We have a window of opportunity, now, to get this bill passed, and it would have been a mistake to wait until next year," said Zeitz. "However, Congress will need to do still more to ensure full success in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

There are several problem areas which Congress will have to address, including:

-- The bill requires a report from programs in countries with HIV prevalence over 1% if spending on abstinence and fidelity goes below 50%. That is a step forward from current law, but Congress will have to ensure this does not have a chilling effect on the range of sexual prevention programs likely to be offered, especially for young people.

-- At the urging of Senator Coburn, the bill states at least 2 million people should receive AIDS treatment, but that figure will be obsolete by 20
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SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
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