Statement on House Committee Action on Global AIDS, TB, and Malaria - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the foundation's Global Health program, released the following statement today on the passage of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization
Act (H.R. 5501) by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
This bipartisan bill is an important step toward renewing and strengthening the U.S. commitment to fighting AIDS, TB, and malaria—diseases that, together, kill nearly five million people every year.
The fact that this bill is named after two great champions of global health, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, shows the critical importance of bipartisan leadership that has been a beacon of hope to millions.
The bill would increase U.S. support for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the President's Malaria Initiative, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Each of these initiatives has proven to be a wise investment of U.S. resources, and has achieved tremendous success in a short period of time.
When PEPFAR was launched, it was a bold move—and some were skeptical that it would work. But the evidence is in, and global AIDS spending has been a powerful force for saving lives.
It is extraordinary that this bill authorizes $50 billion for PEPFAR—which would more than double U.S. authorization for the program. Such an increase would help bring global resources in line with the need.
The bill would strengthen PEPFAR's focus on increasing access to effective, science-based HIV prevention programs. Last year alone, an estimated 2.5 million people were newly infected with HIV. Defeating the HIV/AIDS epidemic will require expanding proven HIV prevention programs and accelerating research on new prevention tools such as vaccines and microbicides.