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Ensure Funding for Historic Global Health Bill
July 2008 — President Bush has signed the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 into law. This is an historic global health bill, authorizing an unprecedented $48 billion to fight three of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.
While great strides have been made against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the last five years, more than 5 million people continue to perish from these diseases annually. The Lantos-Hyde bill sets bold targets and authorizes America’s share of the resources needed to turn back these infectious killers.
Every member of Congress who supported this bill through its long approval process deserves praise for taking a bold step in the fight against disease and poverty. But there is still work to be done. The authorization of these funds does not guarantee that they will actually be appropriated. Congress must annually ensure that the life-saving goals of Lantos-Hyde are supported by full funding.
Funding authorized in the bill is based on expanding current levels of treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. While tremendous progress has been made in placing AIDS patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART), about two-thirds of those who need treatment still lack access. The funding also includes U.S. support to stop tuberculosis, the biggest killer of people with HIV/AIDS and a disease that could easily spiral out of control unless we prevent the further emergence of drug-resistant TB. Included in the bill is funding to fight malaria, building on the commitments previously made in the President’s Malaria Initiative.
Supporting life-saving treatment and prevention is an investment in our collective future. Money spent reining in these diseases will help poorer nations become more productive (healthy people work; sick people can’t). It will prevent millions more children from becoming orphaned, and it will help prevent countries from descending into social and economic instability and turmoil.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is also changing the way America is viewed in the world, improving our standing among other countries and restoring our reputation as a just and caring nation.
But perhaps the best thing about the Lantos-Hyde bill is that it restores hope for millions around the world who lack access to treatment for these deadly scourges. We must ensure that the full amount of funding for this historic legislation is realized.
See how your member of Congress voted on Lantos-Hyde:
Continuing Global Health Progress
The Lantos-Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 will:
Goals of the legislation include: