President’s biden’s FY25 budget is a missed opportunity for meaningful investment

Congress Must Act in Order to Meet Global Goals

The Global AIDS Policy Partnership (GAPP) is deeply concerned that President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) budget request continues a decades-long pattern of flat funding for critical global health priorities. The proposed budget decreases the U.S. commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria from $1.65 to $1.2 billion in FY25, reduces resources allocated to global health programs by $700 million (as compared to FY23), and caps funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the current $4.4B level. This is a missed opportunity to make meaningful investment and to positively impact the lives of people throughout the world.

We must keep the promise of PEPFAR and renew our commitment to saving lives and improving health outcomes of those living with HIV. If we fail to do so, we risk losing the gains made in preventing new HIV infections, in extending the lives of people living with HIV, and in strengthening health systems. Without sufficient resources, we will put the goal of ending AIDS as a public health crisis by 2030 out of reach.

Over its more than two decades, PEPFAR has exemplified U.S. leadership in global health. The program is credited with saving approximately 25 million lives and has been essential in reducing the rate of new HIV infections and deaths caused by AIDS. Today, PEPFAR provides life-saving antiretroviral treatment to more than 20 million people worldwide. It has also increased access to testing and care for HIV-positive mothers in low- and middle-income countries, leading to 5.5 million babies being born HIV-free. 

Furthermore, PEPFAR’s impact extends well beyond the fight against HIV and AIDS. It has been instrumental in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic — enabling the delivery of diagnostics, care, and vaccines to populations that may not otherwise have been reached. In addition, it has proven to be a tremendous asset in building systems to prepare for future threats to public health.

Despite this enormous progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the work is not over. Nearly a quarter of those living with HIV (10 million people) – are still not able to access the antiretroviral therapy they need to survive and thrive. Only roughly50% of HIV-positive children currently have access to treatment; half of these children will die before their second birthday if they remain untreated.

Each year, another 1.3 million people are newly infected with HIV, a number that remains stubbornly stagnant. Underinvestment in the health of vulnerable communities — including women and children as well as injected drug users, men who have sex with men, and sex workers, among others — not only increases the burden of disease, it limits opportunities for economic growth and self-sufficiency in low- and middle- income countries.

The U.S. has long served as a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS and in global health as a whole. President Biden’s FY25 budget request signals a retreat from our global leadership and threatens to undo vital progress. Reduced funding will put us farther from meeting critical global goals. We urge members of Congress to negotiate a budget that prioritizes global health and fully funds the effort to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic.