WASHINGTON, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) expresses deep concern with the proposed cuts to U.S. foreign assistance in the President's FY 2018 budget. Reductions of this magnitude will jeopardize strategic U.S. investment, as well as the goal of ending AIDS in children globally.
Large decreases in U.S. foreign assistance funding, like the cuts recommended in the president's plan, won't just roll back hard-fought progress, but will hurt significant numbers of women, children, and families that have benefited from life-saving HIV prevention, care, and treatment services.
As Congress and the Administration determine the future of this vital funding, it's important to recognize that each dollar spent by the United States fighting HIV and AIDS has a direct and considerable impact on the daily health and survival of people in need. If EGPAF were required to absorb even a 10% reduction to our annual budget, it would significantly impact those served by our programs – resulting in 56 additional infant HIV infections and 119 additional adult deaths due to HIV each week. These are real consequences for real people. To halt the remarkable progress we've made to date would not only be irresponsible, but could seriously jeopardize active efforts to end AIDS in children by 2020.
Since 2000, there has been an astonishing 70 percent decline in the number of new HIV infections in children worldwide, much of that due to America's leadership. However, important work remains. Every day 400 children are newly infected with HIV, and only 49 percent of the 1.8 million children living with HIV have access to the medications they need to stay alive and healthy.
The human cost of the cuts in the president's proposed budget will be substantial and should not be underestimated. Sustained commitment, investment, and prioritization are critical to continuing this progress and removing the final hurdles to our goal of ending AIDS in children. We urge Congress to preserve full funding for U.S. foreign assistance programs.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/ AIDS and has reached more than 26 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. EGPAF is currently supporting activities in 19 countries and more than 5,000 sites to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pedaids.org.
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SOURCE Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation