The devastating impact of AIDS on children is immeasurable. It destabilizes families and entire societies, leaving children without the care and support necessary to grow up, survive, and thrive. Nearly 33 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, of which 2 million are children under the age of 15. (3) Children under 15 account for one in six AIDS related deaths and one in seven new HIV infections (4), which usually occur in the womb, during birth, or through breastfeeding.
The United States has made significant contributions to the fight against global AIDS in the past few years — but we are still only skimming the surface. Established in 2003, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest international health initiative dedicated to a specific disease. The three goals of PEPFAR are to:
PEPFAR specifically includes a provision that sets aside 10 percent of the global AIDS budget to help care for orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS. World Vision played a critical role in securing this 10 percent dedication of funds.
Because federal budget and appropriations cycle provides funding on an annual basis, advocacy is necessary each year to ensure the resources remain available to meet the needs of millions impacted by HIV and AIDS. Each cycle brings competing priorities with special interest groups lobbying for funds.
PEPFAR will soon be integrated with the President’s new six-year Global Health Initiative (GHI). GHI should build upon past success, not undermine previous efforts and promote solutions that directly involve hard hit communities where World Vision works. With your help, we are working to:
Thanks to the courageous bipartisan efforts of Congress and the Administration, PEPFAR was renewed for another five years and signed into law on July 30, 2008. Having already provided approximately $16 billion in the first five years of the initiative, the new legislation has committed the United States to providing $48 billion over five years for AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis programs.
In order to fulfill the U.S. commitments to continue and increase the contribution to the global HIV and AIDS emergency, World Vision calls on Congress to: