As the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – the important global AIDS program responsible for saving millions of lives – faces reauthorization again this year, we need to get loud and tell Senator Robert Menendez (D – New Jersey), Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, that he must support the reauthorization of PEPFAR with increased funding for treatment.
The PEPFAR global AIDS program has been a resounding success, providing lifesaving AIDS treatment to over 5 million people, preventing millions of new HIV infections, and providing care to over 4.5 million orphans and vulnerable children.
Now this success is under threat: Only 4 of the 33 PEPFAR Partnership countries are treating more than 50% of their population living with HIV/AIDS; PEPFAR funding for treatment, as a percentage of total funds, has been steadily declining, currently representing only 25% of total funds; and there are widespread reports of capping treatment and even closing clinics. If we are finally going to turn the tide on the AIDS epidemic, PEPFAR must prioritize and incentivize getting as many people into treatment as possible.
In order to make these important changes to this crucial program, Congress must first reauthorize PEPFAR with clear, unshakeable allocations for treatment funding. As a representative whose position offers great influence for U.S. international policy, Chairman Menendez’s support of PEPFAR reauthorization is essential to its passage and the inclusion of dedicated funding for medication.
PEPFAR-supported clinics and patients worldwide have already experienced enough instability with the closure of treatment centers due to yearly budget cuts within the program, which threatens treatment regimens – and ultimately risks lives. Tell Senator Menendez that now is not the time to retreat on the U.S. commitment to the global AIDS fight – he must support the reauthorization of PEPFAR!
Send this petition to Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, urging him to reauthorize PEPFAR this year with needed changes to ensure that the program saves money while helping finally end the AIDS epidemic.
Want to get louder? Call Senator Menendez at 202.224.4744 and say:
"Hi, my name is ______ and I’m calling to support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and I urge Congressman Menendez to reauthorize the program this year with a re-emphasis on AIDS treatment and cost efficiency.
If we are finally going to turn the tide on the AIDS epidemic, PEPFAR must prioritize getting as many people on treatment as possible. If we do this, we can more than double the number of people on treatment without spending any additional funds.
I strongly urge Senator Menendez to keep the promise on AIDS, and to reauthorize PEPFAR this year.
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We cannot simply wait for the world to change – we must act up, speak out, and be heard.