$1.3 Billion International HIV/AIDS Authorization Bill to Be Considered by House
The Global Access to HIV/AIDS Prevention, Awareness, Education and Treatment Act (HR 2069), a one-year, $1.3 billion authorization bill to support international HIV/AIDS programs, is scheduled to be considered by the full House tomorrow, according to a release from the House International Relations Committee. The amended bipartisan bill, which cleared the committee by a 32-4 vote in June, contains $750 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The bill also includes $485 million in "bilateral assistance" to non-governmental organizations, including faith-based groups, to be administered through USAID. In addition, the bill designates $50 million for a pilot program to treat people with HIV/AIDS in developing countries with antiretroviral medications and establishes programs to "strengthen and broaden" indigenous health infrastructure to enable developing nations to distribute and monitor antiretroviral drug use. Other funds within the bill will provide assistance to programs to prevent vertical HIV transmission, strengthen and expand hospice and palliative care programs and support AIDS orphans. The bill also establishes "microenterprise programs" to provide poor families affected by HIV/AIDS "with the economic means to care for themselves, their children and orphans." An "aggressive oversight program" will be established to monitor all projects. According to House International Relations Chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), "The scourge of HIV/AIDS is one of the great moral challenges of our era, for it is one of the most compelling humanitarian and national security crisis of modern times." Hyde added that Americans "must meet this test by reaching out now to those most in need," calling it the "right thing to do for our children, our country and our world" (House International Relations Committee release, 12/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.