Congress should restore money cut from America's flagship international AIDS program in President Barack Obama's 2014 budget, according to some health experts.
Restoring the $600 million is necessary if PEPFAR is to continue scaling up its HIV treatment programs overseas, which now reach some 6.9 million people in the developing world, according to Matthew Kavanagh of Health GAP.
All told, the amount of money available for international AIDS programs, if the President's budget is approved, would be $4.35 billion, according to Chris Collins, amFAR's vice president of policy.
That's down from $4.935 billion in the 2011 budget, Collins told reporters in a telephone briefing. This year's budget includes $4.02 billion directly for PEPFAR and $330 million for AIDS-related programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
"The budget would flat-fund PEPFAR after years of cutting back," he said.
He and others said Congress, which has always given broad bipartisan support for PEPFAR, can give the administration more money if it wants.
"Congress needs to act," Kavanagh said.
North American Correspondent for MedPage Today, is a three-time winner of the Science and Society Journalism Award of the Canadian Science Writers' Association. After working for newspapers in several parts of Canada, he was the science writer for the Toronto Star before becoming a freelancer in 1994. His byline has appeared in New Scientist, Science, the Globe and Mail, United Press International, Toronto Life, Canadian Business, the Toronto Star, Marketing Computers, and many others. He is based in Toronto, and when not transforming dense science into compelling prose he can usually be found sailing.