Global AIDS Policy Partnership Welcomes Increase in Global Health Funding from House Sub-Committee

Additional resources are required to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a public health threat

Appropriations Committee for its prioritization of global health in the 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) funding bill. This legislation includes $10.6 billion for U.S. global health programs at the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) — a 16% increase from fiscal year 2021.

These resources will be essential to expanding and improving HIV programming as the world faces unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. GAPP is especially grateful to Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking member Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), and ranking member Hal Rogers (R-KY) for their leadership and commitment to investing in global health.

GAPP also congratulates the Appropriations Committee for maintaining crucial funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at $1.56 billion and for increasing total funding for tuberculosis ($469 million), malaria ($820 million), maternal and child health ($880 million), nutrition ($160 million), family planning and reproductive health ($760 million), vulnerable children ($30 million), the United Nations Population Fund ($70 million) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS; $55 million). Sustained investment in these areas — combined with the welcome move to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule — will be critical to advancing public health, strengthening health systems, and promoting human rights around the world. Supporting these efforts is essential to HIV prevention, care, and treatment efforts, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in low- and middle-income countries.

The legislation provides a $150-million funding increase — the first meaningful increase in a decade for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — for a total of $4.85 billion in bilateral HIV funding. As the U.S. government’s flagship program to combat HIV/AIDS around the world, PEPFAR has saved over 20 million lives through accountable, transparent, and cost-effective investments. In addition, the innovations and partnerships created through PEPFAR have been instrumental to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

While GAPP is heartened to see a funding increase for PEPFAR, we are still below the levels required to take the bold action called for at the recent UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS. More investment by the U.S. and its global partners will ultimately be needed to end the AIDS pandemic by 2030. The most recent data shows that a third of people living with HIV lack the medicines they need to survive. While the disease progression is more rapid in children, they continue to fall woefully behind adults when it comes to treatment coverage. Prevention also remains a key challenge, with 1.7 new HIV infections in 2020 alone. New infection rates remain high in some geographies and among key populations, adolescents, and young women. In sub-Saharan Africa, while adolescents and young women are only 10%of the population, they accounted for 25% of new HIV infections in 2019. 

At this critical juncture, the global HIV/AIDS response needs substantially more resources to capitalize on the gains made over the past 18 years and to ensure that services reach the most vulnerable. Without the necessary resources, we will be unable to accelerate our current efforts, thereby prolonging the epidemic and inhibiting meaningful interventions from reaching the scale needed to attain the 2030 goals. All of this comes at a cost to people and communities. 

The long-standing, bipartisan support for U.S.-funded global HIV/AIDS programs has aided the world in accelerating progress toward ending the epidemic and has been instrumental in supporting emergency responses to other pandemics, including COVID-19. The funding allocated by SFOPS will help to safeguard decades of progress against HIV, bolster public health infrastructures to prevent future epidemics, and save millions of people from preventable disease. However, as negotiations move to the Senate, we hope to see momentum for an even larger increase of funding for PEPFAR to address the impact of COVID-19 and bring an end to HIV by 2030.

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The GAPP is a coalition of more than 70 advocacy and implementing organizations committed to expanding and improving global HIV/AIDS programming in order to reach the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat.