SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Sen. Coburn and Rep. Lee urge new goal in AIDS treatment

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and 38 other lawmakers recently sent a letter to President Obama urging the treatment of twice as many AIDS patients.

Coburn, Lee and the other legislators sent the letter on November 14, which called on the Obama Administration to announce a doubling of the number of people treated for AIDS through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief during the fourth replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The replenishment is scheduled to take place in December in Washington.

The legislators praised PEPFAR's achievements thus far and suggested the program should build on its success.

"We applaud the administration's achievement of increasing the number of people on treatment supported by PEPFAR to six million, and the recent announcement of one million babies globally born HIV-free thanks to PEPFAR support," the lawmakers said. "To build on this success, we urge you to set a new, bold PEPFAR goal of 12 million people on treatment by the end of fiscal year 2016."

PEPFAR is a bipartisan organization that was established in 2003. Since that time, the program treated and cared for millions of people facing malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS throughout the world.

"At this critical juncture, scaling up to capitalize on scientific advances, while expanding deployment of proven-effective prevention tools that are already available to us, will not only save millions of lives but will also significantly reduce human suffering, new HIV infections, and healthcare costs in the years to come," the lawmakers said.