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U.S. Must Maintain Leadership In AIDS Fight, Bipartisan Support Of PEPFAR

Through travel to Africa and “[a]s chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, we’ve seen firsthand the enormous toll of HIV/AIDS on families, communities and economies,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) write in the Huffington Post’s “Politics” blog. “On December 1st, we marked World AIDS Day by honoring the lives lost to the scourge of AIDS and by recommitting ourselves to building an AIDS-free generation and ending this pandemic once and for all,” they write, adding, “Although we come from different political parties, we stand together in our belief that the United States should remain a global leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

Noting bipartisan support of PEPFAR since its inception, Coons and Isakson write, “Progress made over the last 10 years means that the United States is ready to look forward, and shift from an emergency response to a sustainable response to the HIV/AIDS crisis,” including maintaining strong partnerships and shifting to country-ownership. They say the recently released PEPFAR Blueprint “offers leaders in Congress and the next Secretary of State the benefit of 10 years of lessons and best practices from PEPFAR programs.” Coons and Isakson conclude, “Scientific advances and their successful implementation — as well as the leadership of the United States — have brought us to the brink of an AIDS-free generation. The last 10 years have seen tremendous progress and millions of lives saved — and we can’t stop fighting now” (12/5).