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Tags: hiv | aids relief | congress | bush institute

Bipartisan Group Pushes to Reauthorize HIV Initiative

By    |   Wednesday, 25 October 2023 04:24 PM EDT

A bipartisan coalition of healthcare groups and policy experts are pushing Congress to reauthorize the U.S. global HIV initiative after it expired in September, according to The Hill.

Former President George W. Bush launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, and the program is credited with saving 25 million lives by preventing HIV and helping other countries fight the disease.

"Before PEPFAR, AIDS was the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth-biggest killer worldwide. Thanks to the broad support of PEPFAR over four administrations and 11 Congresses, that's no longer the case," wrote the Bush Institute, which is leading the alliance, in a letter to Congress.

"We must continue this lifesaving program that symbolizes America at its best. We are a diverse coalition of organizations and leaders whose work spans faith, democracy, human rights, and global health," the letter added.

Although the program was regularly reauthorized for more than 20 years and has widespread bipartisan support, House Republicans protested its reauthorization this year after claiming that its funds were being used to help pro-abortion groups, claims that HIV policy experts and other advocates said were unfounded.

The letter noted that the program's efforts are particularly needed in Africa, and it acts as an important tool of U.S. diplomacy "as authoritarian China and Russia seek to increase their influence in Africa by any means possible."

It added, "Data show that residents of PEPFAR countries think more highly of the United States than the global average. Stronger relationships and alliances can be leveraged to tackle global challenges like combating extremism and authoritarian influence."

The letter's signatories included amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research; The Carter Center; the Bipartisan Policy Center; former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx; former Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair; and former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

Theodore Bunker

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
A bipartisan coalition of healthcare groups and policy experts are pushing Congress to reauthorize the U.S. global HIV initiative after it expired in September, The Hill reports.
hiv, aids relief, congress, bush institute
312
2023-24-25
Wednesday, 25 October 2023 04:24 PM
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