Organizations Appeal to Bush for US to Play Larger Role in Fighting AIDS

Dec 07, 2002 02:39 PM EST

Building on the initial step that George W. Bush had taken in expanding the role of US in the AIDS crisis, undersigned organizations appealed to President Bush on Thursday to propose a new US Presidential AIDS initiative on his upcoming trip to Africa, for US to play a larger role in the global efforts to control the spread of AIDS, and as well as tuberculosis and malaria.

The AIDS initiative is built upon existing US-support programs and some new monies and policies, which was added to the Millennium Challenge Account. There are three essential elements to this initiative.

I. Availability to Affordable Medication:

-- To commit to funding and implementing so that by 2005 a reasonable percentage can be established for a global program to distributed anti-retroviral therapies to 3 million people in need; the World Health Organization called for this.

-- To allow a limited exception to the international patent rule for export of a range of affordable generic medications to third world countries lacking production capacity and insufficient capital and market to manufacture.

II. Establishment of Prevention Service and Support

-- To provide medication against the transmission of HIV from mother to child and treatment to enhance the quality of life for the mothers with AIDS. And later 80% coverage will be given for estimated 2 million women with HIV that give birth each year when US accomplishes an appropriate amount of its share by the year 2005.

-- To sustain the contribution of US to global investment in HIV prevention for third world countries call forth by UNAIDS and Global HIV Prevention Working Group. The effort should include effective economic, social, and public health strategies for women and girls.

-- To support on a global basis to provide community-based care and support services by 2005 where children orphaned or left vulnerable to AIDS pandemic is reduced to a minimum of 80% in accordance to the goal of UNGASS.

III. Allotment of Sufficient Funds

-- To include at least $2.5 billion for implementation of global AIDS program as requested by the FY04 Budget, with also additional fund for fight against TB and malaria. At least 50% of funds for AIDS program were urged to allocate to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

-- To request debt cancellation for impoverished nations in HIV/AIDS crisis and to ensure that the resulting savings are used for social needs, as result that no country would need to spend more than 5% of government revenues on debt payment or future loans.

By Tony C.