Help Make This Year the Beginning of the End of AIDS

Help Make This Year the Beginning of the End of AIDS

November 30, 2011

World AIDS Day is this Thursday, December 1. This year, we celebrate the advances in medicine and technology that can end the devastating pandemic. We must press the United States to maintain its support of life-saving programs that work to alleviate the spread of HIV and AIDS so that we can reach this attainable goal. HIV and AIDS continues to devastate our global family in Christ, as it has for the past 30 years. But these trends can be halted. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has boldly proclaimed her hope of achieving an "AIDS-Free Generation" and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) looks to this, the fourth decade of the pandemic, as the "beginning of the end of AIDS." Unfortunately, funding for essential global health programs that would make this dream a reality will likely be targeted for deep, disproportionate cuts as the Congress and President Obama negotiate spending for fiscal year 2012 and beyond. Programs like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria—which represents a comprehensive, multinational effort to save 10 million lives and prevent 140-180 million more from new infection rates in the next five years—are already baring the brunt of fiscal cuts. In fact, contributions from donor countries has so drastically depleted that the Global Fund was forced to cancel next year's round of funding. Fractional cuts to programs that provide emergency and comprehensive response to our global HIV and AIDS pandemic—which already represent far less than one percent of our federal budget and have already absorbed deep and disproportionate cuts—would reverse promising trends and allow AIDS to claim millions more lives than it does today. In her 2011 World AIDS Day statement, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori reminds us that "Our ability to achieve these high but attainable goals depends on nothing less—and nothing more—than the U.S. government's leadership." Help make this World AIDS Day the beginning of the end of AIDS. Tell Congress that the United States must support Secretary Clinton's vision for an AIDS-free Generation by maintaining funding for PEPFAR, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID HIV/AIDS programs, and the Global Fund.