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With Continued Support For PEPFAR, 10 Years After Creation, Global Community Can Defeat HIV/AIDS

“In 2003, an AIDS diagnosis in sub-Saharan Africa was a death sentence. Just 10 years later, with high-tech drugs, courageous political commitment and funding, AIDS patients — millions of them — receive treatment and live long, fulfilling lives,” Tom Hart, U.S. executive director of ONE, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “That’s in large part thanks to legislation that was enacted 10 years ago,” he continues, noting, “On May 27, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law [PEPFAR], the largest commitment of funds by any one nation in human history to combat a single disease.” He states, “In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and [Tuberculosis] — the multilateral financing mechanism set up around the same time — PEPFAR has transformed the fight against HIV/AIDS and changed the way we think about humanitarian assistance.”

“To the lasting credit of our nation, Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have supported PEPFAR from the beginning,” Hart continues, adding, “Moreover, an impressive cross-section of Americans — conservatives, liberals, students, union members, business leaders, church officials and others — have joined organizations like the ONE Campaign to lend their support to American initiatives that fight global diseases like HIV/AIDS.” He writes, “In a world more interconnected than ever, they understand that helping to create healthier societies is not only the right thing to do morally, but contributes to America’s economic and national security interests.” He concludes, “With a continued dedication of resources and political will that builds on lessons learned from PEPFAR’s first 10 years, we can defeat HIV/AIDS once and for all” (6/4).