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IRIN Examines Future Of PEPFAR, Concerns Over Funding

Highlighting a recent visit to Ethiopia by Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and head of the State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy, IRIN reports on the success of PEPFAR in that country and worldwide, noting the program has supported a 20-fold increase in the number of people receiving treatment in low- and middle-income countries since its beginning in 2003. “But experts are concerned that consistent budget cuts in PEPFAR funding could make reaching the goal of an HIV-free generation difficult, if not impossible,” the news service writes, quoting an April 2013 opinion piece by Chris Collins, a vice president and director of public policy at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

“But Goosby explained the cuts are being made for three reasons,” including “better and smarter” service delivery, increased participation from country governments, and improved cooperation with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, IRIN notes. “We see our ethical obligation to the patients that are using these services. … We will not renege on that. But we also feel that in order to make sure these services continue, we need to diversify the fund portfolio so others are contributing,” Goosby said, adding, “If we pull back on what we are doing for HIV, it will come right back, without any doubt. We see that in just about every infectious disease, but HIV is notorious for this. So keeping this going becomes the challenge. That’s why we want to emphasize the shared responsibility,” according to the news service (6/6).