The Global AIDS Policy Partnership (GAPP) commends the Biden Administration for efforts to prioritize global pandemic preparedness in its Fiscal Year 2022 budget; these proposed new funds are long overdue. We are extremely concerned, however, about the lack of increases toward other global health areas in the President’s Budget, particularly HIV/AIDS. As budget deliberations now move from the White House to Capitol Hill, we urge Congress to increase the level of fiscal prioritization on highly effective, bipartisan health programs like the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); a program which has achieved remarkable success but requires additional, robust support to reach the finish line.

Resources for PEPFAR, the U.S.’s largest global health initiative, remained flat. In fact, PEPFAR has not had a meaningful increase in funding for over a decade. Such stagnation threatens the agency’s ability to scale-up effective programs, invest in new innovations and initiatives, swiftly respond to changing dynamics, prevent new infections and, most importantly, save lives. Throughout its existence, PEPFAR has had incredible global influence and improved overall health outcomes that extend far beyond HIV/AIDS to include gender equality, health workforce recruitment and retention, and laboratory capabilities in the countries in which it operates. That transformative work, as well as the important diplomatic work that is carried out through global health, is stymied by continuous resource constraints.

It is even more disappointing that the President’s Budget includes no increase for PEPFAR in a year when it is further constrained by the effects of COVID-19. Many of the substantial gains made in PEPFAR’s 18 years are now threatened by the pandemic and the resulting economic insecurity, unstable resources, and disrupted enabling environments it has created. Without immediate action, we risk an escalation in new HIV infections as well as negative impacts on the lives of people living with HIV. Furthermore, the substantive resources that have been dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS over the past several decades will have been squandered.

In light of the upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, as well as the 40th Anniversary of the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report first describing AIDS, the GAPP believes that the Biden Administration is missing an important and unique opportunity. Now is the time to highlight U.S. investments in global HIV/AIDS programming and to recommit to leading the fight to end the disease as a global health threat by 2030. We, therefore, urge Members of Congress to work with the Administration to adopt a budget reflecting the critical need and continue progress against HIV/AIDS.

About the Global AIDS Policy Partnership
GAPP is a coalition of over 70 advocacy and implementing organizations committed to expanding and improving global HIV/AIDS programming.

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