Washington, DC – Yesterday was World AIDS Day, when people around the world come together to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with the virus, and commemorate those who have lost their lives to an AIDS-related illness.
This year we are reminded that “communities make the difference” in AIDS response at the international, national, and local levels. It is the leadership of so many people in the public, private, and non-profit sectors who keep AIDS and other global health issues at the forefront of the international conversation and ensure that communities have access to education, support, and health services. While President Trump has repeatedly tried to cut money for global health in the annual budget, we’re grateful to have bipartisan support in Congress for the funding global health programs at the State Department and USAID at higher levels than requested by Trump in his budget proposals.
In our community, we understand the critical importance of American investments in global health programs. For decades the United States has been a global leader in fighting infectious diseases and strengthening health systems of partner states around the world. That’s why this year we endorsed the End Pandemics 2020 campaign, which calls on all presidential candidates to adopt plans renewing America’s leadership in the global fight against the world’s deadliest pandemics. In taking a stance against infectious diseases like HIV, countless lives can be saved with health systems that address economic, racial, and gender inequity.
“As we approach 2020, we’re looking for presidential candidates to show their leadership by supporting strong investments in global health,” said Foreign Policy for America Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “Tackling the world’s deadliest pandemics, including HIV, isn’t just critical for our own security – it helps build our reputation as an indispensable partner around the world.”
“World AIDS Day reminds us of the deep bipartisan support for global health investments through the Global Fund and PEPFAR,” said Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, FP4A advisor and Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. “Congress, and a president after 2020, should renew U.S. leadership to end the AIDS epidemic—which we can, we know how to, we must.”
“We must also affirm our support for the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which seeks a world that is safer and more secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases,” said Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, FP4A board member; Founder and President of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation; and former Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs at the Department of State. “The U.S. should continue to play an instrumental role in the implementation and engagement of this important initiative.”
“World AIDS Day is a reminder that global health must be a national security priority – it not only keeps Americans safer here at home, but it is also critical to global stability,” said Ambassador Barry White, FP4A advisor and former U.S. Ambassador to Norway. “I am very pleased to see Foreign Policy for America’s commitment to supporting global health initiatives and encouraging U.S. leadership on the issue.”